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#aaron hotchner fanfic
nerdyfangirl67 · 10 hours ago
Are You Going to Kiss Me or Not - Criminal Minds Reader Insert
Pairing: Hotch x fem!reader
Word count: 1660
Warnings: mild language, slightly steamy kiss scene
Reader is done waiting around for one Aaron Hotchner to decide whether or not he is interested.
A/N: This came to me one day on my way to work, after listening to the Thompson Square song “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not”. Since this fic is inspired by the song, it will be related, in some ways, to the song’s lyrics. I admit, it did get away from me and I’m not entirely sure how much I like the middle part. I hope y’all enjoy it regardless! Next up is a POTO work, so stay tuned for that :)
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The words start to blur across the page as you try to read the document, again, for the third time. And just like before, a couple of sentences in your attention wanders from the page to the large window of Aaron’s office. Your eyes immediately find him where he is hunched over his desk, his hand moving furiously as he burns through the stack of paperwork taking up his desktop. You were glad you were the last one in the bullpen and no one was there to witness your hopelessly longing stares you had been sending Aaron’s way. 
“Screw it.” You murmur, pushing away from your desk before striding towards Aaron’s office. You knock hard twice and wait for him to call you in. Once he does, you push open the wooden door and take a few steps into the office. You watch as Aaron finishes scrawling out something on the paper in front of him before he lifts his head. 
“Y/L/N?” He asks in surprise. “What are you still doing here?”
You shrug your shoulders, not really sure yourself why you had stayed hours after leaving time to ‘work’ on paperwork. Deep down though, you knew it was because you hadn’t wanted to leave Aaron to another long night of paperwork. “I could ask you the same thing.” You quip back, causing an almost unnoticeable lift in one of his eyebrows as he gives you a look.
The room is quiet for a moment, the two of you staring into each other’s eyes. You’re saying more with your eyes than you had ever said out loud to him, showing him how you truly felt. His brown eyes were filled with something akin to longing and you had to fight the urge to take his face in your hands and kiss him. You break eye contact as you make your way to one of the chairs in his office. 
“I was thinking of calling it a night and thought maybe you might want to do the same.” You pause before quickly adding, “Or maybe you’d want to get a drink together.” You hope that despite the hour, he would feel as desperate to spend time with you as you were to spend time with him. 
“I don’t think that is such a good idea.” He answers, his eyes only meeting yours briefly before he looks out the window overlooking the bullpen. 
“Some other time then.” You say, feeling a rush of disappointment as he turned down your offer. 
His eyes meet yours now as he says, “I don’t think that any time would be good.” 
“Oh, well whenever you want to get a drink with a friend, just let me know.” You say, somewhat dejectedly, not sure why he was being so standoff-ish. “You’re a good friend.” You add quietly.
“I think you and I both know that that isn’t what this is.” He responds. “And I think that you and I also know that whatever this is, it can’t happen.” You open your mouth to argue otherwise, despite the fact that what he was saying was true, but he cuts you off.
“Good night Agent Y/L/N.” His voice has a biting edge to it as he returns to his paperwork, effectively ending the conversation. His apparent rejection has your heart seizing in your chest and your throat tightening against the rising sob in your chest. You turn and run out of his office, only stopping in the bullpen to grab your jacket and purse, not wanting Aaron to see you cry, especially when it was over him.
The drive home passes in a blur as you try to keep the falling tears from blocking your vision. You somehow make it back to your apartment without getting into an accident. You tiredly unlock your apartment, dropping your purse and jacket by the door before locking it back up. You don’t even have it in you to get ready for bed, instead opting to just take off your shoes and crawl into bed. You don’t get much sleep that night, the stress and anxiety of possibly having ruined your relationship with Aaron weighing down on you. When your alarm goes off the next morning, you know that there is no way you were going to be able to make it through work, let alone face Aaron after what happened last night. You send Penelope a quick text saying you weren’t feeling well and would be staying home. 
Later that evening, after a day of feeling sorry for yourself, you are lying on the couch, listening to some random podcast that has been playing on the radio, when a knock sounds on your apartment door. You let out a heavy sigh as you get up, not really excited by the idea that someone was at your door at this time of night. You open the door, ready to tell off whoever it was, but all words leave your mouth when you see that one Aaron Hotchner was standing in your doorway.
His eyes meet yours briefly before they scan over your body, looking for anything out of the ordinary. He wordlessly steps past you to the inside of your apartment, his hand catching yours as he passes you, a finger straying to caress your wrist. You slowly close the door, fighting back the tears that were threatening to fall and the emotions that were rising to the surface before turning your attention to him. You watch him, watching you, for a long time, taking in the smallest details of his appearance; his dark hair, slightly disheveled, his white dress shirt without his characteristic tie and the top few buttons undone, and a tired expression on his face. 
You couldn’t take the silence any longer. “Aaron Hotchner, are you going to kiss me or not?” You burst out, hands on your hips as you focus your gaze on him. He didn’t say anything as he continues to stare at you, his dark brown eyes boring into yours. His silence infuriates you further and causes you to throw your hands up in the air in exasperation. 
“Damnit Aaron.” It wasn’t often that you used solely his first name, only doing so when a situation caused you to be enraged or terrified, and you felt a little of both at the moment. You were so upset at his apparent disinterest in what you were saying, what you were asking of him. And you were terrified that it meant he didn’t feel the same for you. 
“I like you a lot. In fact ... I might actually be in love with you.” It came spilling out, everything that you had been keeping to yourself for months and you couldn’t stop yourself once you’d started. “I’ve felt this way for a while, a long while. And I think you know, or at least a part of you does.” You pause, wondering if maybe you had been reading too much into the longing looks and the lingering ‘accidental’ touches, but you decide since you had gone this far, you wouldn’t back out now. 
“Aaron, I’m not going to wait around forever for you to decide.” You soften your voice, pausing for a long moment to let what you said sink in, before you ask him again. “So, are you going to kiss me or not?” He is moving before you even finish talking, reaching you in only a matter of steps. His large, rough hands come to rest on either side of your face, cupping your face in a gentle manner that contrasted heavily to the urgency in his movements. He brings your face up to his, bending until he is able to reach your lips. 
The kiss is soft, almost tentative, as if Aaron isn’t quite sure of what he was doing himself, as if he was going to pull away at any moment. You kiss him back fervently, worried that he was going to back away. You find yourself getting lost in the feeling of his hands on your face and his body brushing up against yours, the euphoria you feel over finally getting to kiss him flooding through your body. 
You are the one to finally pull back, your need for air overcoming your want to kiss him. He rests his forehead against yours, his breath mingling with yours as the two of you catch your breath. “That was...” You murmur, a languid smile growing on your face. You catch a glimpse of the mischievous spark in his eyes as he mumbles out an incoherent reply, right before he seizes your lips with his. 
Where the first kiss had been safe and reserved, this one was passionate and frenzied. In the heat of the moment, Aaron backs you up against the wall of the living room in your apartment and his hands are everywhere; on your face, your hips, in your hair, sliding down your back. He breaks off the kiss before resting his forehead against yours. 
“I’ve waited years to do that.” He whispers, his voice rough with need. “And it was better than I ever could have imagined.” His soft brown eyes, twinkling with emotion, meet yours. 
“You better get used to it, Hotchner.” You say, a surge of confidence washing over you. “Because I’m definitely going to do that again.” You press a light kiss on his lips before wrapping your arms around his waist in a tight hug. His strong arms bring you infinitesimally closer, one of his hands coming to tuck your head in against his chest. “Good.” He murmurs his warm breath fanning across your neck. “I look forward to it.”
His words cause a smile to grow on your face as you relish in, finally, being able to feel his arms around you. You were certainly glad you finally decided to ask Aaron Hotchner if he was going to kiss you because it clearly paid off.
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fanficbitch · 15 hours ago
In Another Life // Girl
Aaron Hotchner x y/n
May 2013
I stopped by the OB on the way home to find out the sex of the baby. However, I went alone because Aaron does not want to know. But I’m so excited. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to keep this secret for the next four months.
When I get into the apartment, I throw my bags down on the couch then turn into the kitchen where Aaron is cooking dinner. He sees me for a split second then turns away. “Don’t even look at me, I don’t want any hint of the gender,” he says. 
“Are you just going to avoid looking at me until I have the baby?” I ask as I sit at the counter.
He suddenly realizes how ridiculous he is being and looks at me with a smile. “I guess you have a good point,” he says then pulls a tray out of the oven.
“So what are we eating?” I ask.
“Cheesy chicken,” he says and slides the chicken onto plates.
“Is Jack here?” I ask and suddenly I hear footsteps down the hall getting closer toward me. Jack appears with a large smile.
“Y/N!” he shouts.
“C’mere sweet boy,” I say and hold out my arms. Jack wraps me in a hug and I kiss his head. “How was school?”
He shrugs. “Okay I guess,” he murmurs.
“Just okay?” I ask.
“We had a spelling test. It was hard,” Jack tells me.
“I’ve never been so good at spelling myself buddy,” I say as we move to the table. Aaron slides plates in front of each of us. “Thank you honey,” I say as Aaron sits down at the head of the table.
“It’s nice to make dinner for my two favorite people,” Aaron says as we start eating.
“It’s nice not just eating takeout,” I say then shove chicken in my mouth. Oh my gosh it is so good.
“How is the baby?” Jack asks. Aaron and I exchange glances then I turn to Jack. He is so excited that he asks about the baby nearly everyday at dinner.
“Good, I just went to the doctor and the baby is healthy,” I tell him. I know Aaron is going to kill me for this next part, but I have to say it. “And I know if you’re getting a brother or sister.”
Jack’s face lights up. “Tell me, tell me!” he begs.
“Now hang on,” Aaron says. “You can’t tell Jack and not tell me.”
“Oh, I can tell you whenever you want,” I says.
“You know that’s not what I mean,” Aaron says.
I open my mouth to speak, but nothing comes out out due to Aaron’s phone going off. “Hotchner,” Aaron says into the phone. I quickly eat a bunch of chicken because I know what’s coming next. “We’ll be right there,” he says then hangs up the phone. “We’re needed in California,” he says then pushes back from the table.
I notice the disappointment in Jack’s face once Aaron leaves. “Don’t worry buddy, I’ll finish eating with you,” I tell him although that doesn’t lighten his mood much.
I notice that Aaron has disappeared down the hall, and then I turn back to Jack. “Do you wanna know a secret?” I ask and Jack nods urgently. “Okay, you have to keep it between me and you. You can’t tell Dad, promise?”
“I promise,” he says.
“Okay, you are going to have a little sister,” I say and Jack’s mouth opens wide.
“Wow,” he says.
“Is that a happy wow or a sad wow?” I ask.
“Happy wow,” he says then continues eating. My heart warms that Jack is so excited and now is excited about having a sister.
“Remember, this is just between you and me,” I remind him.
“Got it,” he tells me.
Aaron comes back down the hallway in his suit. “I called Jess. She’s on her way,” he says.
“Okay, I’ll meet you there as soon as I can,” I say then he leans down to kiss me. “I love you,” I say.
“I love you too,” he tells me then kisses Jack’s head. “I love you buddy. I’ll see you soon.”
“Bye Dad!” Jack shouts as Aaron walks out the door.
The case we’re currently working gives me creepy vibes, especially now that I’m pregnant. Nannies and the children they have been watching have been kidnapped on the same day for the last six years. Lately, any case with children just freaks me out.
I am currently talking with the parents of Phoebe Payton, the girl who was kidnapped. “But it’s been 24 hours, doesn’t the kidnapper usually return the child by then?” Mrs. Payton asks urgently.
“Yes, but that doesn’t mean we should assume anything. We are still focused on finding Phoebe,” I tell her.
“But she could be dead by now,” Mrs. Payton screeches.
“We’re hoping that she is not,” I say. “Ma’am, just take a few deep breaths and try to calm down.”
Mrs. Payton lets out a scream then bangs her fists on the table. “You don’t even know how hard this is. Do you even have kids?” she asks and I pause.
“Yes, I have a son,” I say.
“Okay, well imagine your son being taken and that your son has asthma and doesn’t have his inhaler,” she says.
“I imagine that would be very difficult,” I say quietly.
“I-I just need a moment alone please,” Mrs. Payton says.
“Of course,” I say then step out of the room.
I join the rest of my team in the conference room of the station. “Did you get anywhere with her?” Rossi asks.
“No, she’s obviously very distressed,” I say.
“Y/N,” Aaron calls from the other end of the room. I yawn as I walk over to him. “I think you should go to the hotel and get some rest.”
“No, I’m okay,” I tell him.
“Fine, I’m making you go to the hotel and rest,” he says. “I’ll be around to check on you in a while.”
“Fine,” I groan then kiss his cheek. “I’ll see you soon.”
I went to the hotel, but I can’t sleep. I just keep thinking about the case and Phoebe. It was hard enough to talk to Mrs. Payton about her daughter being taken, I can’t imagine actually having your child taken. Shivers run down my spine. Just the thought of losing Jack scares the hell out of me.
The door to my hotel room opens to reveal Aaron. “What are you doing up?” he asks then sits on the side of the bed.
“I can’t sleep,” I say sheepishly. “I just keep thinking of Phoebe. Ever since I got pregnant all these kid cases hit me hard.”
Aaron sighs. “I know, they get me too.”
“I just can’t imagine if this happened to Jack or our baby girl,” I say. Despite my tone, a smile grows on Aaron’s face. “What?” I ask.
“Baby girl?” he asks. I suddenly realize what I have done and my hands cover my mouth.
“Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry,” I say the take his hands.
“Baby girl,” Aaron repeats without making eye contact with me. My hands move to his cheeks.
“What are you thinking?” I ask.
“We’re having a baby girl,” he says quietly.
“Are you okay with that?” I ask carefully.
“O-Of course I am. I’m thrilled about it,” he says and I squeal with excitement.
“We’re having a girl!” I say then press my lips to his. Aaron’s expression suddenly changes.
“Now you really have to get some sleep. I don’t want my girls being up all night,” he warns me. My heart swells at his word choice of girls, plural.
“Fine,” I whisper. “I’ll try just for you.”
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bookishofalder · 16 hours ago
Protective Sneak Peek
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... “Hi, Happy,” He’d looked away as he spoke, back toward the night sky.
You had smiled up at him, “You may need to dip into more of Garcia’s very alcoholic egg nog if you’re feeling short of Christmas spirit,” He had chuckled at that, a sound that shot heat through you and ensured you didn’t feel the chill in the air, “I only had one glass and I feel it.”
You’d been kidding, though it had been pretty strong, but the way Hotch glanced back down at you—that brief flash of concern as he searched your face, it had surprised you. “Are you feeling alright?”
“That’s what I was going to ask you, actually.”
Hotch blinked a few times, then sighed, “I am,” His eyes were so warm, you remember thinking. “I just have trouble turning off my brain sometimes.” He’d admitted a little shyly, looking away again.
You’d reacted on instinct, your hand sliding across the railing to lay over his own comfortingly. You looked towards the windows, seeing your friends inside all laughing and cheerful, and ignored how Hotch had stiffened in surprise next to you—he could pull his hand away if he wanted to.
“You want me to help sneak you out?”
His hand turned over beneath yours, twisting to capture it in a soft hold, and you had tilted your head to peer up at him, those warm eyes gazing at you with a sudden intensity you couldn’t understand. “No, I don’t want to leave yet.” ...
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softhairedhotch · 16 hours ago
i know you are as much as a slut for hotch as much as i am so i present you this, a completed wattpad fic about hotch
yes i am a slut for hotch thank you
link :)
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grandexodus · 17 hours ago
Breaking and Entering (Part Two)
Rating: T
Word Count:  1,830
Content Warnings:  discussion of stabbing (wound), stalking, breaking and entering, animal abuse (not explicitly detailed), blood, fighting, light cursing.  Fem reader insert, she/her pronouns.
Summary:  When the replicator continues their criminal activity, you find yourself as their target upon arriving home from a long case with the BAU.  Aaron Hotchner, your unit chief, is more than accommodating during the string of traumatic events that you endure before, during, and after the replicator case.  
Part One
Listen to the playlist based on this story!
“Garcia, go ahead.”  Hotch said once everyone was seated at the round table.
“Yes, sir.  As we know, the replicator has been recreating cases that we’ve solved.  Tonight he changed his m.o. And has targeted the team.”  She clicked the button on her remote, and a picture of your apartment came into view.  “He specifically targeted y/n, and we’re not sure why.”  Another click and your bathroom was on display.  “He also took his anger out on, oh God-” Penelope looked away from the screen, “I just don’t understand how someone can do that to sweet, little-”  
“Garcia.”  Hotch brought her attention back to the facts.
“As you can, unfortunately, see here, y/n’s dog was found dead in the bathroom.  The blood used to write ‘zugzwang’ did belong to the four-legged friend.”
“That’s it?” Derek asked, puzzled.
“We’ve been given twenty four hours.  If we don’t have any leads, the case closes.”  Hotch stated.
“Okay, well, let’s focus on what we know.”  J.J. prompted.  “He knew we were out of town, and he was familiar with where y/n lived.”
“y/n, could this be someone you know?  Someone you could have unknowingly upset?”  Blake asked.
Internally, you were panicking and quite frankly nearing hysterical.  You outwardly remained calm and composed.  “No one I can think of.  No one knew I’d be out of town except my sister so she could check on Benny.”  
“We’ll need to bring her in for questioning.”  Hotch said.
“y/n, did you ever confide in your sister about the cases you’ve worked on?” Reid asked.
“Never.  I’ve always kept BAU information confidential.  She doesn’t even know any of your names.”  You stated, “Though, to be fair, we only ever talk when one of us needs the other’s help.”
“Then I don’t think she did this.  If you didn’t confide in her then she wouldn’t have known the significance of ‘zugzwang.’”  Reid explained.
“We shouldn’t rule it out just yet though.”  Hotch stated, “Y/n, I want you with Garcia.  J.J, get in contact with y/n’s sister and have her come in for questioning.  Reid, see if you can identify the cases we were on in those photos.  Rossi, Blake, and Morgan, I want you with me at the crime scene.  Garcia, find out everything you can about y/n’s sister.  Let’s go.”  Hotch rattled off his orders and everyone went their separate ways.  
Penelope came over to help you up.  “Can I have a minute by myself.  Just to breathe for a moment.  I’ll meet you in your office.”  You said.
Penelope gave Hotch an inquisitive look, and he nodded to give his permission. 
“I’ll see you soon, hun.”  Penelope said before leaving.
In a few moments it was just you and Hotch in the room.  “I don't know if we can do this in twenty four hours, Hotch.”  
“We’ll do everything we can.  Like always,”  He reassured.  You took a deep breath, and he came over to you.  “If you need to step away at any point, you have my permission to do so.”
“Thank you, but I want to do this.”  He nodded.  “I could use a little help getting to Penelope though.” 
“Of course.”  Hotch had you in Penelope’s office shortly.
“Y/n, you know I hate to dig into your personal life like this, but I need any and all information and gossip on your sister.”  Penelope was at the ready.  You gave her all the information you know.  “Squeaky clean.”  Penelope said, the disappointment was clear in her tone.
“Why the disappointment.”  You asked.  
“She attended an all girl’s catholic school while you stayed in public school.  However, there’s no track record of drugs, alcohol, or delinquency of any kind.”  
“What?”  You were as shocked as she was now.
“What?  What do you know?”  She met your narrowed eyes with her widened ones.
“My parents said they enrolled her in catholic school because she’d been arrested for public intoxication three different times in middle school.  You’re telling me she has no record?”  
“Call Hotch.”  you said.
The phone rang once, “Hotchner.”  He answered.
“Sarah went to catholic school because my parents wanted her to stop drinking.  They told me she had been arrested three times for public intox, but she has a clean record.  We need to find out why my parents sent her off.”  You started.  
“Put Garcia on.”  He ordered.
“Already here, you’re on speaker.”  Penelope answered quickly.
“Find out everything you can about y/n’s parents and the school the sister went to. They’re hiding something.”
“Faster than a Hotch rocket.”  Penelope’s eyes widened as she realized what she’d said.  She hung up.
“There’s still nothi-”  Penelope stopped mid-sentence, “Oh no.”
“What is it?”  You prompted as you scanned the words on the monitor.
“Your parents sent your sister to St. Elizabeth’s for extensive conversion therapy.”  Penelope typed at a lightning fast pace.  Her phone rang.  Click.  “Boy, do I have news for you.”
“Tell me something good, baby girl.”  Derek came over the phone.
“I have something, but it’s bad.  Sarah was sent to catholic school for conversion therapy.”  
“Anything else?”  Derek asked anxiously.
“That’s it.”
“Did you find anything at the scene?”  You asked.
“Nothing.  Whoever did this covered their tracks.  Damn well, at that.”  Derek signed.  “We’re on our way back, meet us at the round table.”
“Yes, my liege.”  Penelope said before ending the call.
“Sarah didn’t do it.”  J.J. said as she entered the conference room.  “Her alibi is air tight.”
“We’re missing something.”  Rossi thought aloud.
“It’s gotta be in the pictures.”  Blake observed.
“These photographs, while they seem random, each one was carefully framed.”  Reid sat down.  “So carefully framed that I can’t get a location on any of them.”  He sounded defeated.
“I hate to put the pressure on us even more, but we’ve only got six hours.”  Rossi sighed.
“Let’s go back to what we know.”  You said, looking over the crime scene photos.  “There was no sign of forced entry.  J.J., you said Sarah had left the key under the welcome mat.  Was the key still there when you guys went to the scene?” 
“No.”  Blake said.  “They had to have been watching Sarah to know that the key was under the mat.  She said she only does that when she knows you’ll get home late.”
“I never leave the key under the mat for anyone.  Whoever did this knew she’d be at my place.”  You stated.
“Y/n, where were you when you told Sarah you would be on a case tonight?”  Reid asked.
“I made the call from my desk.”  You said.  “From my personal cell, I might add.”
“In order to hear the entire conversation this person had to either be standing right next to you, or, and this is creepy, they hacked into your cell to listen in.”  Penelope said.
“It’s likely someone on the inside.”  Hotch stated.  His cell rang shortly after he spoke.  “Hotchner.”  His expression changed from stoic to frustrated.  “I understand that, but not only do we still have a few hours, we’ve made some progress.”  His lips formed a tight line.  “Yes, ma’am.”  The call ended.  “Strauss is giving us one more hour.”  Hotch said to the team.
“One more hour?  What happened to the full twenty four?”  Derek asked angrily.
“She believes we haven’t made enough headway to justify the full twenty four hours.”  Hotch explained.
“What now?”  Reid asked.  
“Garcia, pull security footage and see if anyone was close enough to y/n to hear her conversation.  Reid, I want you to work on a geographic profile.”
“Hotch, with all due respect, I don’t have enough here for a geographic profile.”  Reid stated.
“Maybe not a complete one, but we need anything we can find.  Derek, Blake, and Rossi go back to the crime scene and go through everything.”  Hotch instructed.
“Everything?”  Derek asked, concerned for your privacy.
“It’s fine.  I have nothing to hide.”  You stated, “Do whatever needs to be done.”
“J.J. and y/n, I’d like you to interview your sister again.  See if she noticed anything strange or out of pace at the apartment.”  Hotch stood up, signaling for everyone to part ways.  “y/n, before you go, do you know if there are any cameras at your apartment building?”
“There are, but they’re mainly in the parking lot.  Let me get you my landlord’s number.”  You pulled your phone out and texted the number to Hotch.  The two of you went your separate ways.  Him walking at a brisk pace, and you with a limp.  
“Y/n.”  You turned around and saw Reid with a wheelchair.  “It might be a little excessive, but it’s better than limping.”
“Thank you.”  You took a seat and wheeled yourself to the interrogation room that your sister was being held in.
“Sarah.”  You greeted gently.
“You know they think I did this?”  Sarah shouted.
“No one thinks you did this.” You reassured her.  “We just had to cover all our bases.  Your alibi is rock solid.  I do have a few more questions though.”
“What happened to you?”  She asked, suddenly changing the subject.
“I’ll explain later, we don't have a lot of time left on the case.  I need you to tell me everything you remember from when you checked on Benny.”  
“Are you not even phased by this?”  Sarah sobbed, “You’re acting like nothing even happened.”
“Sarah, I’m terrified right now, but if my team is going to find who did this, I have to keep it somewhat together.”  You explained.  She didn’t respond.  “What time did you arrive at the apartment?”  
“10 p.m.”  Sarah said as she began to calm down.
“Did you notice anyone acting strange?  Perhaps they were standoffish or overly friendly?”
“No, there wasn’t anyone outside or anything.”  
“What about Benny?  When you took him out, did he act strange at all?”  You kept your tone gentle.
“No, he went potty and we went inside.  His behavior was normal.”
“One more question, why do you leave the key under the mat when you know I’ll be home late?”  
Sarah began to cry again, “I’m sorry.  I only do it so you don’t have to fumble with your keys late at night when you’re alone.  It’s just so you can get inside safely and quickly.  I won’t do it anymore.”  
“Sarah, this isn’t your fault.”  You reassured her.  Your phone rang, it was Hotch.  “y/l/n.”  You wheeled yourself away from the table.  “I’m sorry, you’re saying the security footage doesn’t exist?”  
“The landlord admitted that the cameras are just for show.  They don’t actually work.”  Hotch was livid at this point.  “Did you find anything out?”
“Nothing new.”  You sighed.
“Neither has anyone else.  The hour’s up.  I’ll see you soon.”  He hung up.
“You’re free to go.”  You said before leaving the room.
“Y/n.”  J.J. tried to stop you, but you ignored her.  You went straight to your desk.  You sat there trying to rack your brain of who could have done this.  You weren’t sure how long you had been there, but eventually the team said their goodbyes to you.  
“Y/n.”  Hotch approached you.  You looked up at him.  “Do you have a place to stay?”
“I was just going to stay here and get some work done.”  You stated.  You definitely did not have a place to stay that would be remotely safe, and if you could evade the question by all means you would.  
“I mean longer than just tonight.  It’s not safe for you to return to your apartment or stay with your sister.”  His tired eyes bored into yours.
“No.”  You said quietly.
“You can stay with me for as long as you need.”  
“Thank you.”  
“Come on.”  He wheeled you to the entrance before helping you up.  He led you to his car and opened the door for you.  
As Hotch pulled out of the parking lot he said sympathetically, “I’m sorry we couldn’t work on the case longer.”  
“It’s not your fault.”  You said tiredly.  The remainder of the car ride was silent.  You so badly wanted to close your eyes and rest during the drive, but every time you tried all you could see was ‘zugzwang’ written in your dog’s blood.  Though he never glanced your way, Hotch noticed your discomfort.  He once again found your hand and interlocked his fingers with yours.  The action had begun to feel so natural that you almost didn’t notice the butterflies that time.
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ao3feed-hotchxreid · 19 hours ago
by WildLyle
Jake Peralta is perfectly capable. No one will ever do his job better than he does! It's a fact everyone should know. No two-faced bunch of FBI Agents will ever convince him otherwise. Ever.
Words: 250, Chapters: 1/?, Language: English
Series: Part 1 of Criminal Minds/Brooklyn Nine Nine CROSSOVER
Fandoms: Brooklyn Nine-Nine (TV), Criminal Minds (US TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Categories: F/F, F/M, M/M, Multi
Characters: Jake Peralta, Original Male Character(s), Jason Gideon, David Rossi, Jennifer "JJ" Jareau, Emily Prentiss, Aaron Hotchner, Spencer Reid, Penelope Garcia, Derek Morgan, Gina Linetti, Amy Santiago, Charles Boyle, Rosa Diaz, Terry Jeffords, Kevin Cozner, Kevin Lynch, Ray Holt
Relationships: Jake Peralta/Original Male Character(s), Jason Gideon/David Rossi, Jennifer "JJ" Jareau/Emily Prentiss, Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid, Penelope Garcia/Derek Morgan, Gina Linetti/Amy Santiago, Charles Boyle/Rosa Diaz, Terry Jeffords/Charles Boyle/Rosa Diaz, Kevin Cozner/Ray Holt
Additional Tags: Crossover, Minor Violence, OC
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uncpanda · a day ago
Hug #34 with Aaron 👀🍑😘
This one made me laugh, I don’t know why. But despite being so stoic, I can totally see Hotch doing this. 
Warnings: A little suggestive but nothing explicit, making out. 
Pairing: Aaron Hotchner x Fem!Reader 
Prompt 34: hugging while grabbing butt
FBI functions aren’t your favorite thing in the world, but you go because you love and support your husband. And Aaron is always thankful for your hand in his, and the way you have a knack for running interference, or stealing him away from politicians.  
The one thing you do like about the functions are the drinks. It’s as though the bureau knows they only way they’re going to get people through the door is with quality booze. You typically indulge in two glasses of wine, but tonight you go for three. The speech of the night was over forty minutes long and a monotone voice. It’s enough to drive Aaron to order a second scotch. 
So you suppose it’s entirely predictable that you end up in your current situation; making out in Aaron’s office like a couple of teenagers. Your arms are wrapped around his shoulders, and his arms are tight around your waist, while his mouth lavishes that one spot on your neck.
You giggle a little and say, “This is how you became a dad for the third time.” 
You feel him grin against your skin, and his hands trail down your sides before they settle on your butt. You laugh when he squeezes once and asks, “Want to go for number four?”  
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uncpanda · a day ago
35 “cuddle pile” with Hotch and Jack and maybe a few other little munchkins Hotch and reader added to their family? 😊
Ummmmm little Hotchners? Sign me up!!!!! 
Prompt 35: Cuddle pile! 
Aaron Hotchner x Fem!reader 
You’re completely immobilized. Your youngest child, who is two years old, is sprawled across your chest. Your second youngest has his head laid on your chest right next to the baby’s. Jack’s head is cushioned in your lap, and he’s fast asleep. And the cat, is curled up on your protruding belly. 
You let out a small grunt as a new series of kicks start up. You smooth a hand over your belly, in an effort to get your daughter to stop, but she’s stubborn . . . .like her father. 
You hear a throat clear, and turn your head to see your husband standing in the doorway of your bedroom. His go bag is in his hand, his jacket is thrown over his arm, and while he looks exhausted he also looks extremely happy to be home. 
He gently places his bag and jacket to the side, before toeing off his shoes. He swoops down to kiss you, and move a strand of hair out of your face. In a whisper he asks, “What’s going on here?” 
“There was a thunder storm last night. They all piled in here, and it became a partial family cuddle.” 
Aaron raises an eyebrow, “Partial?” 
“You weren’t here.” 
He looks over the bed and asks, “You sure you have room?” 
You gesture to your right side, where there’s still an empty space, “Always.” 
The bed dips a second later, and he curls around you too, his face nuzzling into the crook of your neck. You  thread your fingers through his hair, and absentmindedly play with it until his breathing evens out and he joins the rest of your boys in sleep. Your daughter, like you, is still stubbornly awake and stretching. And while it may be uncomfortable, you wouldn’t trade this moment for the world. 
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hotchncrs · a day ago
hello pls send me hotch fic recs !! ao3, tumblr, wattpad !! idc if it’s reader insert or an oc !! Just Need Hotch Fic i desperate :,) i also just wanna support ppls writing <33 !! pls & thank u ily
also im a minor so if a fic specifies 18+ pls don’t send !!!
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uncpanda · a day ago
Can you please do prompt 10 with Hotch? <3
Why, I would be delighted! 
Hotch X Fem!Reader 
Warnings: Mentions of throwing up/ morning sickness 
Prompt 10: hiding their face in the other’s neck
Morning sickness, to be quite honest, is a bitch. Mainly because the little human growing inside of you seems to cause it quite a bit. It should be called all day sickness. 
“You think you’re done?” 
You look up at Aaron, who’s sitting on the edge of the tub. He has a concerned and guilty look on his face. You scooch your body so that you can lean against his legs, and then tilt your head back, “I’m okay Aaron. I’ve done this before.” 
You watch as he runs a hand through his hair, “Yes, but you’ve never gotten sick this much before either.” 
“Also true.” 
His fingers play with the end of your hair for a second before he lifts himself off the tub and down. His legs settle on either side of your body, and you lean back against his chest as his arms wrap around you. 
You bury your face in the crook of his neck, hiding away from the less than pleasant moments that just happened, and inhale. His aftershave is the one scent that doesn’t seem to make you ill. “You smell good.” 
Your lips move against his skin with the words and they come out a little garbled but he seems to get it. “Thank you.” 
His hand settles against your still flat belly, “Thank you for making me a daddy again.” 
“You’re welcome.” Those words are all you can muster before you fall asleep in his arms. 
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uncpanda · a day ago
omg I'm SO happy requests are open again do you think you can do 24 from the hugs list with Hotch? I've been having a really horrible, exhausting week and your writing is really pushing me through the week aaahhhhh 😭 really in need of some comforting Hotch content now TT thank you so much 🥺❤️
AHHH then we need some fluff. 
Aaron Hotchner x GN!Reader 
Prompt 24: hugging with height-difference
The entire week has been one disaster after the other. Work has been a nightmare and with Jack at summer camp and Aaron away on a case you’ve been all your own. And somehow, being alone, makes everything worse. 
You trudge into the apartment, toes off your shoes, and throw your bag to the side. All you want is to slip into bed, and sleep this horrible week away. 
That’s when you hear something, and you realize the alarm isn’t set. Before you have a chance to panic Aaron appears in the hallway. He’s still dressed in his clothes from work, but his tie and jacket are gone, and the sleeves of his shirt are rolled up. It’s one of your favorite looks on him, but right now you could not care less. 
Before he can even say anything you throw yourself at him. His arms wrap around you automatically, and you’re pulled tight against his chest. He doesn’t say anything, he just lets you burrow in, as the fingers of his left hand tangle in your hair. 
Aaron’s superior height means that your head is cuddled against his chest, and you place your ear over his heart. And the two of you just stay that way until the bad slowly begins to dissipate. 
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uncpanda · a day ago
For the hug prompts, 33 with Aaron Hotchner?💙💙
I started and stopped this one several times mainly because I had different ideas: Like reader finding out she’s pregnant, or reader coming home after a business trip. Finally I decided on some angst ;) 
Aaron Hotchner x GN!Reader 
Prompt 33: ‘picking them up’ hugs
Warnings: Mentions of being shot, broken ribs. 
Your entire body hurts. It’s a regrettable side effect of having been shot at close range, and the only reason it isn’t worse is because of the Kevlar protecting your most vital organs. And all you want to do is go back to the hotel, curl up in Aaron’s arms, and sleep until the pain goes away. 
But the unsub, thrashing under you, as you try to cuff him, isn’t making that possible. You hear footsteps, and then there are more hands helping, and you feel someone lift you up from under your arms. You look up at Emily and give her a grateful smile. 
“You okay?” 
“Three shots to the vest. Close range. I probably have a cracked rib. Other than that, I’m okay.” 
She smiles, “Good. Can you go inform your man of that? Strauss held him back and he’s been pacing like a cornered lion ever since.” 
You nod, and start walking that way. With every step a new blurb of pain shoots through you, and then you see him. He’s wearing his vest, and his arms are crossed as he paces. 
You say his name, and his head whips around. He reaches you in a matter of seconds, sweeping you off your feet and up into his arms. Despite the fresh wave of pain it brings, you hug him back, your fingers tangling in his hair as he whispers, “I love you.” Again and again and again.  
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tonydan1310 · 2 days ago
Can anyone make prodigal son and criminal minds fanfic pls
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uncpanda · 2 days ago
The Ties that Bind: Revelations
Synopsis of series: Being the older sister of a literal genius? It’s not easy. Raising said genius from childhood on? An act of love. Uprooting your life again when he gets in over his head? A no brainer. Finding a new family and support system for yourself? Well, you suppose that’s just luck. 
Warnings: Typical Criminal minds stuff, mention of torture and withdrawal. 
Master List 
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The call wakes you up out of a slightly drunken sleep; the persistent ringing is enough to make you wince and wonder if you should have made different choices the night before. You squint at the number, it’s a DC one, and your brow furrows. Spencer has a habit of calling you from whatever phone is available but he rarely calls you in the middle of the night. 
“Hello.” Your voice is hoarse to your own ears, and you clear your throat. 
“Ms. Reid?” 
That has you a little more alert, “Speaking.” 
“This is Aaron Hotchner . . .” 
“Spencer’s boss.” You finish for him, as a weight settles in your stomach, “What happened?” 
“There’s been an incident.” 
Your body moves on it’s own. You jot down details of flight information, and who’s going to pick you up at the airport, along with a list of injuries. You’re promised more details on arrival while you change, and throw clothes into a suitcase. You thank your brother’s boss before hanging up and throwing more clothes into the suitcase. You have a feeling that you might be in DC for a while. 
You make it to the airport in record time, and you spend the flight sick to your stomach with worry while your head feels like someone is playing bongos. Before decent you make sure you look at least somewhat presentable, before heading back to your seat. Disembarking takes entirely too much time for your liking, and your leg bounces due to the impatience. 
It takes you another half hour before you’re able to grab your bags and reach the pickup lane, and that’s where you find a familiar face . . . or at least one you’ve seen in pictures. 
“Agent Morgan?” 
The man’s head whips towards you, and you can’t help but think it’s not fair that a man can look that good. You watch as he looks you up and down before extending his hand, “Y/N Reid?” 
You nod, and his mouth settles in a grim line, “It’s nice to meet you, I’m just sorry about the circumstances.” 
“Have you seen him?” 
He shakes his head, “Not yet. Hotch and Gideon haven’t left his side though.” 
“How bad were his injuries?” 
He pauses as he opens the passenger side door of the SUV for you, as though he’s considering what to tell you, “He was tortured, beaten, and was shot up with dilaudid. He’s in withdrawal which is making things worse.” 
You bite your lip and climb in. You can feel Agent Morgan’s eyes occasionally on you at stop lights or as he drives. When he reaches the hospital, he doesn’t even have time to put the car in park before you jump out. You navigate the hospital with an ease that comes from having spent a good amount of time in them. 
When you arrive at the information desk, you’re keyed up, you’re ready to bite someone’s head off if you’re not taken to your brother. The nurse gives you a kind smile, but the anxiety doesn’t ebb. You push away from the desk the minute she’s done giving you instructions to his room. 
Agent Morgan catches up to you in the elevator, “You move fast.” 
You press the third floor button, and shrug, your arms wrapping around you in a way that says, do not engage. When the doors to the elevator open you take the halls at a light jog, passing by the floor’s waiting room where Morgan stops to talk. Your eyes scan room numbers, before they settle on 334. You knock once before pushing it open. 
Your breath gets trapped in your lungs as your eyes focus on Spencer. He’s unconscious in his hospital bed; he has an IV and several other things connected to him. 
“They sedated him.” 
Your head whips around to a man in a suit. His face is serious, but you can see the concern in his eyes, “He was very agitated. They think it’s due to the detox. I’m Aaron Hotchner by the way.” He points to an older man on the other side of the room, “That’s Jason Gideon.” 
Gideon doesn’t say anything. 
He sticks out his hand and you take it, shaking it twice before moving closer to Spencer. The first thing you notice is that he’s rather dirty, he hasn’t been cleaned since being admitted. You figure that has to be pretty standard; deal with injuries and then cleanliness. His hair is tangled, and has little leaves in it as well. 
You fidget a bit before moving closer. You start picking things out of his hair. You hear footsteps and the door closing a moment later. You pick apart some of the worst tangles in his hair, and you wonder when he let it grow out this much. You’d just seen him a few months ago, and you talked with him at least once a week. 
You’re in the middle of dealing with a big knot when a hand lands on your shoulder. You jump, and Agent Hotchner holds up his hands in a surrender pose, before shaking a small bag in his left hand. 
“Sorry . . .I’m just . . .” 
“Scared.” Gideon finishes for you, “So am I. So’s Hotch. So’s the team. Nothing to be sorry about.” 
Agent Hotchner’s eyes slide to Gideon before offering you the bag, “It’s just a brush and few bags of wet wipes. I thought . . .” 
You nod, and give him a small smile, “Thank you.” 
You continue your focus on his hair, and once all of the leaves and twigs are out, and the worst knots have been detangled you set to work brushing it. You keep your movements gentle, Spencer has always been tender headed. You keep up with the motions until his hair is somewhat presentable. 
From there you take out the baby wipes and start wiping down his face, and then his arms. You consider doing his legs, but you know he wouldn’t appreciate that. Instead you start tidying up, throwing the debris and dirty wipes in the trash, and then you become painfully aware that you have nothing left to occupy your mind or your hands. All that’s left is to wait.
“You act more like his mother than his sister.” 
Your eyes flicker to Gideon who’s staring at you, and you shrug, “I probably am. I pretty much raised him.” 
Gideon’s lips tip upwards into a smile, “He mentioned that. Said you pretty much took things over when your dad left.” 
You shrug, “William wasn’t my biological father. Never met the man, never had a desire to. William raised me, treated me like his own until he left.” A glance at Agent Hotchner tells you that he didn’t know any of this. 
“You were nine?” 
You cross your arms, “Yeah.” 
“Parentification. That’s what it’s called when a sibling is left to raise another.” 
You stare at him, your head cocking to the side, “Believe it or not Agent Gideon, I knew that. I may not have my brother’s IQ, but I can hold my own.” 
Out of the corner of your eye you watch Agent Hotchner run a hand down his face, before it settles over his mouth; you have a feeling he’s trying to hide a smile. 
Gideon leans back in his seat, a small smile on his face, “He’s spoken of you quite a bit . . . to me at least. He told me about the time that you punched the captain of the football team. You nearly got suspended.” 
You turn to look at Spencer, “They hurt my brother, he’s lucky that’s all I did.” 
“Mama bear indeed.”
Eventually Hotchner wanders out of the room, and some of Spencer’s other colleagues filter in and out. They introduce themselves; JJ, Emily, and Penelope. Eventually you drift off, with your head cushioned on your arms, on top of Spencer’s bed. You feel the bed shift, and your eyes flutter open; you find Spencer looking at you. 
You straighten up, and you watch his lip quiver before he closes his eyes and a tear slips out. A somewhat strangled, “I’m sorry.” Slips out, and your heart breaks. You gather him in your arms, despite him having been taller than you for a few years now, and his head rests against your collarbone, as his fingers dig into your tee-shirt. He keeps repeating the apology as you hold him. 
You let him speak his piece as you comb your fingers through his hair, and the sobs begin to fill the room. It takes a good half an hour before the sobs finally go quiet and Spencer is ready to sit up. 
You smooth a strand of hair out of his face, “Better?” 
He hesitates for a second before saying, “No.” 
“Good. At least you’re not lying to me . . .or yourself.” 
He swallows, “Honesty. That’s our thing, right?”
He doesn’t meet your eyes, and a little feeling pulls at your gut, “Yeah. Honesty.” Your tongue darts out to wet your lips, “Speaking of which, they say your foot is pretty bad off. You’re going to need to stay off of it for a little while, maybe a week or two?”  
The word is said so quickly it nearly gives you whiplash, “No?” 
“You sacrificed everything for me my entire childhood, I’m an adult, and I have the team. You have a life, back in California, a job, friends, and that guy.” 
Your voice takes on a teasing tone, “Joel. You have an eidetic memory and you can’t remember his name.”
“Well, I’m not feeling all that great considering I was just tortured.” His eyes go wide the second he’s done speaking, “I’m so sorry, I don’t. . .” 
You pat his hand, “It’s the withdrawal. Mom was the same anytime she tried to quit 
smoking, and either way, I’m staying long enough to at least make sure you’re okay. A few days, and then I promise, I’ll stop hovering.” 
He looks down at his hands, and an awkward silence fills the space. It’s been years since this happened. The last time, had been when he’d told you he was joining the FBI. 
“Anyways, with the exception of a text to my boss, I haven’t let anyone know where I am. So I need to let a few friends know, and Joel. Do you want me to get you anything while I’m stepping out?” 
“Some jello?” 
You pat his leg, “Sure thing kid.” 
You slip out the door, and find agent Morgan waiting, “How’s he doing?” 
You’re honest, “Not well. He’s hiding something.” 
You lean against the wall, “He doesn’t want me to stay, he won’t make eye contact, and he was a bit defensive.” 
Morgan shrugs, “Trauma can do that to a person.” 
You bite the inside of your cheek, “I’ve raised Spencer since he was four years old. I know him, like the back of my hand. He’s only acted like this when he’s trying to hide something, and the thing is . . .I’m scared to push right now. I’m also scared that if I go back home, whatever he’s hiding is going to get worse.” 
Morgan stares at you for a second before asking, “You have a cell phone.”
You pull the flip phone out of your back pocket and hand it to him. You watch as he types into it, closes it, and then hands it back to you, “My number is now in there. Call anytime, and I’ll give you the lowdown. I’ve got two sisters, and I know if it was me, I’d feel better if I knew someone was watching out for them.” 
You feel a weight disappear from your chest, “Thank you agent Morgan.” 
He smiles, “You can call me Derek or just Morgan. Agent is for people I actively dislike, and since you’re pretty boy’s big sister, that disqualifies you from that position.” 
You take a deep breath and allow a smile to grace your face, “Thanks, I appreciate that.” You allow your body to rest against the wall for another minute before you push off, “I’ve got some calls to make, I left home so quick, I only sent out one text. Do you mind . . .?” 
He smiles, “I’ll stay with pretty boy until you get back, and I’ll let the others know he’s okay.” 
You watch him disappear into the room, and despite Morgan’s reassurances about keeping an eye on Spencer, the nagging feeling in your gut won’t go away. 
Tag List: 
@nightressposts @hateinthemorning  @bulldozed88 @toastedside @am3l1a-24 @wintelu 
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ssa-daddyhotchner · 2 days ago
Undercover - Chapter 24
Chapter Selection
"What do we have so far?", Aaron asked the team when we gathered together.
"Right now we know that he wants to get back at me for getting rid of his kid, he doesn't like Aaron for being with me. Mark's the both of us. I also don't think that he's going to kill Jack, he wants something that reminds him of me and Jack is the closest thing.
I think he's going to try and raise him as his own. He's young enough that he'd forget who we are." I motion between Aaron and I.
"Where would he take Jack", we all looked back at each other. "Mark's obsessed so he'd wanna take him somewhere with significance, so where would that be?"
"Our house? It's where I left him, he abused me... cut me. But last I checked there were people living there, he wouldn't have access." Garcia dipped her head to face her computer and began typing.
"The address?" Garcia asked me. "46 winter avenue."
"That address was occupied but two months ago the people that bought it vacated the property and never came back."
"Mark could've taken him there." Morgan stated and everyone was waiting for Hotch's okay to go to the address. He nodded off; Morgan and Emily left to scope it out.
"Garcia I know you've already checked but go over the feed again to see if you missed anything", Reid told Garcia.
When they left the rest of us stayed and went over any other information, Aaron was sitting with his head in his hands; he got a call. "Hello?", once I heard the voice on the other side I knew who it was. "Aaron do you have anything on our son?"
He let out a deep sigh, "Nothing yet but we're still working, we'll get him back", I heard her voice break and scoff. "You better hope, and you better be doing everything you can or I swear."
I get that Hayley's his mom but she seems a little distant. Jack has been gone for a few days now and she has only come in to check on the progress once since then. Usually parents try to stay as close as they can to the investigation and for the most part never leave the station.
Instead Hayley's calling; every time she does her behavior doesn't sound genuine.
Now that could be because I can't actually profile as she's over the phone but still. I can't shake the feeling that she knows more than she's letting on.
"I know it doesn't make sense but bare with me, I think Hayley's in on it. It was something about her voice when she was talking with Hotch, she didn't sound genuine." Rossi spoke up, "When she found out about Jack's disappearance that reaction was genuine from what I could tell."
"Maybe but when she stood up she said something that make me suspect her, 'This is your fault, you and your fucking ex husband.' I've never told her about him... ever."
"I don't know about that y/n", Aaron said to me. Reid stood up and was walking around the room trying to think, "Actually y/n has a point, think about it Hayley loves Jack and she'd try and do anything to keep him safe. If Hayley thinks y/n is a threat to Jack then it makes sense."
"Add that with me taking over the mother role in his life come on Aaron."
"Ok but before we do anything I wanna be sure, Rossi and Reid follow her and if she goes anywhere near that house- take her in." They walk out the room after getting Hayley's location from Garcia.
"Sir- the videos on a loop", Aarons eyes shot up at hers. "What do you mean?", Pan turned the computer towards us and showed us.
"It's a loop for a few hours, he's doing the same thing everyday. You see that glitch right... there." We both nodded. "That's the end of the loop and it restarted, I don't know how I didn't see it before."
I was lost in my mind, the video was a loop, it was a way of distracting us. We thought he was safe, that we had time to save him. He could be dead; we didn't know where he really was. But then again Mark wouldn't do that to a child, maybe the video loop was a way to fuck with us... I don't know.
"Come on", Aaron tugged on my arm and I followed him. "What is it?" we walked into the elevator going to the bottom floor. "I just wanna get away from that, they're doing everything they can, we were just sitting there."
We went outside, it was a little chilly. Aaron wrapped his arm with mine keeping me close to him. Going down the sidewalk; further and further away from the office. We ended up in a more secluded area.
"I wanted to wait to do this honestly, but seeing as somehow our lives are just falling apart around us things just keep going wrong... I- want to have a grip on something in my life. Something that I can control and nothing can touch." He stopped walking and I turned around to face him.
"I had a whole plan, a surprise one that I know you would've loved but- I needed Jack for that." He dropped his head and steadied himself and gazed back at me. "I love you and that's why I want to take the opportunity now... while I still have you."
Aaron reached out and held my hips bringing me closer to him. I cupped his cheek and kissed him deeply. My hand in his hair, pulling him closer. He pressed his forehead to mine and exhaled.
I looked at him in his eyes as he stared at me, "Will you marry me." I was taken back but internally I was ecstatic. No words were needed as I jumped into his arms, the first time either of us were happy since Jack was taken.
He held me up gripping my thighs, my arms went around his neck. I kissed his passionately and lovingly. He raised his eyebrows as if he was asking 'is that a yes?' I nodded and he pulled me into another kiss. We stayed there for a few minutes enjoying the moment till reality set in.
He put me down and we were holding hands, smiling the whole way back. We were gone for an hour never answering our phones.
We got back to the office walking through the bullpen to find Garcia pacing the round table room. Before we walked in she could be head throughout the bullpen, "Where the hell aren't they answ- guys get in here." Pen saw us through the window.
Aaron and I walked into the room, "Hayley's there."
"Like, there? At the address?" Garcia nodded and Aaron and I sprinted towards the elevator going straight for the parking lot.
The drive took forever even though it seemed that Aaron was speeding through the streets. We parked a few blocks away, I called Morgan and Emily. They were in front of the building they moved after Hayley went inside.
We approached them, "All of them are in there." I called back up and the cops surrounded the building and covered the rooftop with some snipers. Rossi and Reid moved to the back entrance with some of the officers covering behind them.
"We have eyes", one of the snipers said through the mic. they had eyes all of them further confirming they were inside.
Aaron stepped inside first, me behind him with Morgan and Emily trailing behind. I went ahead because Mark needed to see me first, I didn't want him to feel intimidated. I approached the door when everyone was ready.
I saw Mark at the table with Jack across from him; Hayley was in the kitchen. When Mark saw me, the vest, and the gun he moved with speed and grabbed Jack. He pulled out a gun and pointed it at his chest; while my sights were trained on Mark.
Hayley reacted just as fast seeing him with a gun at Jack she aimed at Mark. Aaron came in behind me and aimed at Hayley. Rossi, Reid, Morgan, and Emily all were split between the two. All Aaron could think about was why Hayley helped, though we knew why; he wanted to hear the words come from her.
"Why?" Aaron was talking directly to Hayley. She napped he head to the side looking at him then quickly back at Mark, "Because he had our son, y/n wanted to take him from me and this was my way of being close to him... he's all I've got left." A tear fell from Hayley's eyes dripping onto the floor.
"Mark you don't wanna do this." He glanced at me but kept looking around at the people around him. "I have too, you left me okay. I fucked up, I know that."
"But why take his son?" He answered back quickly. "Because you took mine from me, our child."
"I don't even know if it was yours." He looked right at me and his eyes were brimming, "Are you telling you don't remember... after all the pain you caused. Do you not think about it? I sure as hell do; they way you took him."
I knew what he was talking about, I had forgotten about it... one of my most painful memories. It used to haunt me even though it wasn't my fault. Something that sadly naturally happens. Is this why he started changing? All the abuse- Mark blamed me for it.
"It's been a while." Mark took notice of the change in behavior towards Aaron and he cocked his head to the side, "You haven't told him have you?" I shook my head.
"Tell him", Aaron glanced at me but never tearing his focus from Hayley. I really didn't want to but he had a gun to Jack. Everyone around me, the officers and the team all witnessing what's unfolding before them.
"I was- uh pregnant before... with him. I had a miscarriage within the weeks of finding out we were having a child. Do you blame me?" This time I was talking to Mark staring him down.
"How can I not, what's that now... two children you've taken. I’m about to take one from you."
Everything felt like it was in slow motion as Mark raised the gun to Jack's head. Hayley shot Mark in the abdomen while Aaron shot Hayley in the head; she collapsed to the floor.
Mark's gun went off hitting the floor almost hitting Jack.
When his body hit the floor I holstered my gun and ran over to Jack, picking him up in my arms. I watched the life drain from Mark's eyes; the paramedics not getting there in time. As for Hayley she was dead before she hit the floor, the blood running from the hole in her head pooling around her.
I covered Jacks eyes and walked out of the room. Taking him outside to the ambulance that just arrived. I sat with him as they made sure he was ok. I was in shock; blanking from what just occurred. Mark was dead... Hayley was dead.
The paramedic was done with Jack and he had crawled onto my lap, clinging onto me. I held him close not wanting to let me go. I thought if I did I'd lose him again. I watched Aaron walk outside and lean against the building, he was shedding tears for his son's mom.
I stood up with Jack and made my way over, when he saw me coming closer he was quick to dry up his face. Jack pulled his head from off my shoulder and he leaped into his dad's arms. Aaron relaxed as soon as he was holding him.
I visibly saw the weight being lifted off his shoulders. "You want to go home?", Jack nodded excitedly ready to sleep in his own bed. We finished at the scene and headed home, I put the key in the lock of the front door and Jack ran to his room. I called out, "Jack you're going to need a shower."
I heard a faint okay and he shuffled into the bathroom. I went into the bedroom going into the closet. I pulled Aarons shirt over me and I felt arms wrap around me. I put my hand on one of his and leaned my head back, "You okay?"
I felt him nod. I knew he wasn't; he just killed his ex wife, Jack's mom is dead. I don't even know if Jack can comprehend what happened earlier, he's only 5.
Holding onto his hand I brought him into the kitchen, "Cooking always makes you batter." He shrugged and shook his head. "Come on, I'll help. What do you want to make?", he never answered just pulling out ingredients; I figured it out quickly.
I tried to lighten the mood, so I turned on some music. We were waiting for the food the cook and I grabbed his hand and turned him to face me. His hand automatically met my waist knowing what to do.
I tried my best to reach over his head and twirled him which just resulted in him teasing me.
"Here I'll make it easier for you", he said while giggling and crouching down to my height. I wasn't short but he was so goddamn tall. "Heyy", I playfully hit his arm. Jack ran into the kitchen and saw us dancing.
I broke away from Aaron and held my hand out for Jack. He took it and we were dancing to the music blasting in the living room. I picked him up by his arms and twirled in a circle. The smile on his face brought me so much happiness. I thought that earlier we could've lost him.
While Aaron finished the dinner he glanced at us, he was still upset but seeing that it didn't seem to affect Jack made it easier. He set up the table; Jack and I rushed to the table, slightly out of breath. "When do I get to see mommy?", that's what both of us were afraid of. We were thankful he didn't comprehend what occurred but also now we have to explain to him that his mom is gone.
Eventually we'd have to tell him what actually happened; he should know and that's definitely not going to be a fun conversation. I turned to face him, "Buddy your mom is going to be gone for a while okay." He looked at Aaron with confusion written on his face.
"So when is she coming back?", Aaron visibly tensed.
"She's not going to, your mom wants to but she can't." He let out a quiet ok and started to eat. I looked back at Aaron and the room filled with silence. The only thing said during dinner was Jack asking when he can go back to school and see his friends.
We finished eating and I was cleaning the table while Aaron put Jack to bed. Instead of just cleaning the table I ended up washing the dishes, counter, and sweeping. I cleaned when I'm anxious which wasn't so bad because who wouldn't want to have a clean house.
I'd finish tomorrow, it was too late to actually get everything I wanted down. But it was a decent surprise for Aaron after he put Jack down. "Did you clean?", I looked up from dusting the shelves.
"Maybe...", He smirked and walked over to me wrapping his arms around me. He pressed a gentle kiss to my temple, "Thank you... not just for this." He gestured to the house and he continued, "But also telling Jack about Hayley; I couldn't bring myself to do it."
I placed my hands on his, "You're welcome." He took my hand in his, turned off all the lights, and we headed towards the bedroom. Aaron pulled his shirt over his head exposing his toned body. I caught myself staring and I went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth.
When I walked back into the room Aaron had thrown off his pants and was under the covers. I crawled into bed and Aaron pulled me to him. His chest pressing against my back. His head resting just behind mine; I could feel his breath on my neck.
It sent chills down my spine. He mumbled a goodnight, I hummed in response.
@marie1115 @appleblossoms-posts @wanniiieeee @donttellanyoneireadfanfiction @mac99martin @oreogutz @errorcosplay67 @aberrant-annie
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uncpanda · 2 days ago
The Ties that Bind: Master List
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Synopsis: Being the older sister of a literal genius? It’s not easy. Raising said genius from childhood on? An act of love. Uprooting your life again when he gets in over his head? A no brainer. Finding a new family and support system for yourself? Well, you suppose that’s just luck. 
AN 1: Shout out to @winterscaptain​ for letting me borrow her idea of the time line so things don’t have to be so linear. Be sure to check out her amazing series A Joyful Future (Aaron Hotchner x Reader) 
AN 2: Leaning towards this being Hotch X Reader, but I also like Morgan x Reader. I hate choices!!!!!!  
AN 3: I will not be doing every episode of the series. That might actually kill me. More than likely I’ll pick the big episodes and then add in other one shot/ happy moments not included in the series. Anything currently listed is planned. More will be added later. 
Link to Taglist  Something you want to see in the series click here
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The birth of Spencer 
William Leaves 
First day of High School
Going Away to College
Don’t you want a normal life? 
I’m Going to Join the FBI 
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Extreme Aggressor (Episode 1 AU) 
Weekly Calls 
LDSK (Episode 6 AU) 
The Fox (Episode 7 AU) reflection on the broken family they come from) 
Derailed (Episode 9 AU) 
Somebody’s Watching (Episode 18 AU) 
Phisher King (AU) 
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Revelations ( Episode 15 AU) 
Jones (episode 18 AU)  
The Move
The New Norm (Living with Spencer) 
Apartment Hunting 
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Gideon Leaves
Internet Dating 
Rossi Returns 
Damaged (Episode 14 AU) 
Hotch and the Divorce 
Coffee and Friends 
A Higher Power (Episode 15 AU) 
Reading in the Park 
Tabula Rassa (Episode 19 AU) 
Lo Fi (Episode 20 AU) 
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A Bad Day
Minimal Loss (Episode 3 AU) 
Instincts (Episode 6 AU) 
Memoriam (Episode 7 AU) 
Aftermath of 52 Pickup 
How am I a Whore? 
Omnivore (Episode 18 AU) 
Amplification (Episode 24 AU) 
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Nameless, Faceless
Heart to Heart 
Come Here Often?
Fresh Air   
100 (Episode 9 AU) 
Slave of Duty (Episode 10 AU) 
Halloween Candy 
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Jealousy and the Red Dress 
The Loss of JJ 
Can I Take You Out? 
Derek and Ellie 
25 to Life (Episode 11 AU) 
Coda (Episode 16 AU) 
My Sister and My Boss? 
 Lauren (Episode 18 AU) 
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babymetaldoll · 3 days ago
DIWK - Chapter five: "For a genius, that's just dumb"
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My gif ✨
Words count: 14,7K
Warnings: Drug use,  Spencer at his worst. Cursing, angst, CM usual content. Spoilers of Season 2 Episodes 16, 17, and 18.
Summary: Spencer is being a jerk with everybody at the BAU, and reader is having trouble dealing with his obvious problem. A case in New Orleans will bring the team to the edge.
A/N: I'm sorry! bear with this angst for another week, things will get a little better soon, I promise!
Series Masterlist
Chapter one | Chapter two | Chapter three | Chapter four
───※ ·❆· ※───
(Y/N)'s point of view
Reid took two weeks off after his abduction. Hotch forced him, and it was clear he needed it. Meanwhile, in the BAU, things were a little tense between me and JJ. I knew I hadn't been as professional as I should have been during the investigation, and I was expecting the repercussions.
That's why after the morning briefing, I asked Hotch if we could talk.
- "Listen, Hotch, I'm sorry I yelled when we were at the cabin,"- I started and kept my eyes on his, just to prove to him how sorry I was and how honest I was being.
- "(Y/L/N), there's..."
- "No, Hotch, I was out of place, I yelled at you, I yelled at JJ, I cried and..."
- "And yet, you did an amazing job finding Reid,"- he said and stood up. He walked from his desk and stood in front of me.
- "I am not expecting you to be perfect the whole time, (Y/N). I just want you to give us your best."
- "But I let the case affect me. I shouldn't let the case affect me."
- "(Y/N), it was Reid. From the second we found out he was missing, we all knew it was going to be a hard case for the team, especially for you."
I smiled at my unit chief, and somehow, he smiled too. Spencer always said he smiled with me a lot, but I never thought it was "a lot." Well, considering he never did, maybe the few times he did smile were a lot for him.
- "(Y/N)"- he said before I opened the door-" You should consider talking with JJ too"- I nodded and walked away.
I knew I had to, but I didn't want to. It was embarrassing to ask for an apology. After all, I yelled at her. But JJ was my friend, and she had been through hell. She deserved an apology.
I walked to her office and knocked on the door. She looked from the files she was reading and almost jumped.
- "Hey,"- I whispered and showed her a cup- "I made you an apology coffee for yelling at you."
The only way I knew how to deal with awkward circumstances was by trying to make a joke of it. That's my coping mechanism.
- "You don't need to apologize, (Y/N),"- she said as I walked over and gave her her coffee.
- "I do actually, 'cos I really feel like shit. I shouldn't have yelled at you or blamed it on you. I was too nervous and too scared, and I need to..."
- "(Y/N), really"- she interrupted me and smiled- "I know you didn't mean to hurt me, you were just nervous for him. We all were... and now he is back, and everything is ok."
I looked at her and tried to read her. I don't know why I felt she was hiding something from me.
- "I was out of place, JJ. No matter how worried I was, I should have never yelled at you, and I'm sorry."- she smiled and stood up. I wrapped my arms around her and whispered "Sorry" again.
- "It's ok (Y/N). I know you were just desperate to find him."
- "Thank you... but next time I'm out of place, you can just yell at me back or something"- she chuckled and shook her head.
- "You weren't out of place. You are always going to protect Spence."
- "Yes, I will, always, no matter what"- she just stared, and I smiled at her.
I didn't overthink her words until years had passed. I knew no matter what, I would always do my best to protect Spencer. I knew he was my best friend, and I would do no matter what to have him in my life. There was something about him and how he made me feel when we were together, which I found extremely addictive. I was the happiest when I was with him, even when we were working, catching serial killers, surrounded by death.
- "Hello honey bunny, it's me again. I'm almost done with my paperwork, so please put on some pants 'cos I've got some amazing chicken tandoori for dinner today."
It was Wednesday. I left Reid yet another voice message 'cos he hadn't picked up the phone for me that day. And though I was worried he wasn't answering my calls, a part of me thought it was completely natural. He had to be sleeping. After all, he had been kidnapped and tortured.
I had been taking him dinner every day of his leave. I wanted to make sure he was eating, and I wanted to put an eye on him, see if he was in a good mood. If he needed to talk. If he felt ok. If he was a functional human being. I worried about him all day long. I was glad those days we were working locally, and no case took us from the city.
I knocked on his door later that night, and it took him at least five minutes to answer. He was in his pajamas, dark rings under his eyes, and his hair was a mess.
- "Sorry, were you still sleeping?"- I whispered and cut him a tiny guilty smile- "I called you earlier..."
- "Hey... yeah..."- he yawned and opened the door- "Sorry, I've been..."- but he didn't continue talking.
I walked into his kitchen and left the take-out bags on the counter. Everything was exactly like I had left the day before when I had brought him dinner and something to eat for breakfast and lunch.
- "Spencer? did you eat today?"- I asked, but he didn't reply- "Honey?"
I walked back to the living room and found him lying on the couch, nearly falling asleep again.
- "Spencer? are you ok?"
- "Yeah, I'm just... you know, I feel like I haven't slept in years... I'm so tired, and when I close my eyes, all I can see is Tobias's face torturing me..."
I sat on the floor next to him and ran my fingers through his hair. Finally, he opened his eyes and just looked at me.
- "You are home now, you are safe"- my voice was a whisper. I was afraid I could scare him. Spencer looked so helpless lying there, still scared.
- "I tell you what, let's eat, and then you can go to bed, I'll go home, and I'll let you sleep until tomorrow, ok?"- he just nodded but didn't move.
- "What's for dinner?"
- "Your favorite."
When I left that night, I had the feeling there was something Spencer wasn't telling me. I had never seen him like that. But at the same time, I could really understand he was feeling like shit. He had been through an awful situation. So, of course, he was going to feel like shit.
I did the same every night the two weeks Reid was on leave. And I found a different Spencer each night. Sometimes he was sleepy. Sometimes he was happy, chatty. And the last day, he was moody. You don't know Spencer until you've seen him mad. He has a whole different personality hidden, and it only comes out when he is angry.
- "I can take care of myself, you know,"- he said as soon as he opened the door. So I just stood there, confused, trying to understand what I had done wrong.
- "Hello to you too"- Spencer didn't reply. Instead, he just walked back to his couch and grabbed the book he was reading.
- "I'm not hungry."
- "Fine, you don't have to eat right now. I'll just leave this here until you feel like tasting this amazing pad thai."
I looked around the kitchen. Just like every day, everything was exactly like I had left it the night before. I was sure Spencer wasn't eating anything the whole time he was alone.
- "I brought one for myself. You don't mind if I eat? I'm starving."
- "Do whatever you want,"- he mumbled and continued reading.
Until that day, Spencer had never talked to me like that. It was shocking. I didn't know what to do, a part of me wanted to storm out, and the other just wanted to wait for him to apologize. So I sat at the table with my pad thai, a book and just ate in silence. Alone.
Spencer didn't say a word for at least half an hour.
- "Ok, I'll leave then,"- I whispered after cleaning my dishes- "See you tomorrow at work."
- "Yeah, tomorrow"- he simply replied and didn't even take his eyes from the book.
- "Hopefully, tomorrow, you won't be a dick."
Spencer's point of view
After two weeks at home, I was out of Dilaudid. That Sunday, I started stressing out as soon as I finished the last bottle. I could feel the anxiety growing inside of me, even when I was still pretty high. I wasn't going to get another dose until the next day. I had to get a prescription or a dealer.
I wasn't really thinking straight about it at that point. I didn't consider myself an addict. I had been using it for just a week or so. I could leave it whenever I wanted to. Just that I didn't want to leave it, 'cos I felt I needed a little support to deal with everything going on.
It was so annoying having (Y/N) over that day. I just wanted her to leave. I hated how much she cared about me 'cos I knew it was over pity, not love. She felt pity that I was a useless kid who couldn't even cook for himself. But that useless kid was going to get himself his own dose of Dilaudid, no matter what.
After so many years at the FBI, it wasn't so hard to find a dealer. You knew the streets. You just had to go there and find one who could get you what you wanted. And surprisingly, Dilaudid was more popular than I imagined.
I waited a few minutes after (Y/N) left, grabbed my jacket, and got out there to find my next dose of joy. I didn't feel bad or guilty. Everybody has a thing, I guess. And it wasn't like it ruled my life. I just needed it for a few more days until I felt better.
I carried my gun but left my batch back home. I took my car and drove to the neighborhood I knew was the easiest to find a dealer. I waited for a while, parked around the close to a local bar until I found what I was looking for.
Somehow, I didn't find it hard walking over and getting my drug. I wasn't embarrassed or scared. Or even nervous. All I wanted to do was hold that bottle in my hands as quickly as possible, go back home, and put the needle in my vein. As simple as that.
I'm guessing that's what being an addict is all about.
- "You are here!!"- Garcia yelled as soon as I reached my desk. She was waiting with Morgan and ran to hug me.
I didn't really want a hug that minute but accepted it 'cos she looked excited, and I didn't want to break her heart. I was still a little high from the night before, so I was feeling pretty good. I could handle some physical contact.
- "We missed you so much! I baked you cookies!"
- "Hey, pretty boy! how are you feeling?"
- "I'm ok, how have you been?"- I left my bag on the chair and waved at Morgan.
- "We are all good, ready to go back to the game?"- I knew I wasn't, but of course, I lied.
- "Yeah."
I took a look around the bullpen. (Y/N) and Prentiss were at the kitchenette making coffee. I had the feeling I had been a little bit of an asshole the day before with my best friend, but I wasn't sure if it had been just in my mind or if I had said something nasty to her. So, after a few minutes of hesitation, I grabbed the cookie box and walked over.
She was alone. Emily was laughing at something Derek had said. He was flirting, and I'm not sure she knew. (Y/N) looked at me and crossed her arms on her chest. Not a good sign.
- "I'm... sorry?"- I whispered and looked at her
- "Why?"
- "I was grumpy yesterday, and I might have said something I didn't mean... and I'm sorry,"- I stuttered, like the nerd I have always been, and opened the box of cookies, offering her one.
- "Garcia made you those," - she said and sipped her coffee.
- "But I wanna share them with you"- (Y/N) raised an eyebrow and looked into my eyes.
- "Are you ok?"
Such a simple question. Such a hard answer.
- "Yeah, I'm ok... But, I'm still having some trouble sleeping... nightmares"- that was true.
- "And how was the pad thai?"- I didn't even eat it.
- "It was good, I liked it"- she nodded and sighed- "(Y/N), I am honestly sorry I was an asshole with you."
- "It's ok, honey"- her words were a sweet whisper that made me chill- "Just don't do it again"- I shook my head and kept my eyes on her.
- "Welcome back, Reid,"- Hotch said and tapped on my back- "We need you in the conference room in five minutes."
And just like that, I was back to work.
During the morning briefing, I could hear JJ and Hotch talking about the case we had that week in Westchester county. There were suspicions of hate crimes, 'cos all the girls were afro American. But I couldn't really concentrate, though I looked at the pictures and did my best to stay focused. I ate a few cookies. Bit my nails. Sipped my coffee. But all I could see was Tobias dead on each picture of the case.
And suddenly, I started craving that needle in my vein. Just a little to go through the day.
I found it hard staying still, so I ate another cookie, sat straight on my chair, scratched my arm, and rubbed my hands against my face. I knew I was moving too much, but I couldn't really stop. Did I have time for a little fix before we head off to New York?
An SSA getting high in the FBI bathroom. That was all I could think of. Was that what I wanted to turn into?
I felt (Y/N)'s eyes on me and turned to her for a second. I remember holding my breath as I stared at her. Her brown hair was pulled up in a ponytail that day. She wasn't a fan of that hairstyle but wore it when she felt she needed to look more professional. I remember telling her I like her hair loose the most, and she told me she likes my hair when it was longer. I stopped cutting my hair that day.
She just looked at me, her eyes into mine. I was trying to read her, and all I could see was that she was doing the same.
- "Wheels up in twenty,"- Hotch finally said, and everybody stood up. (Y/N) grabbed her things and walked back to her desk. She was still mad at me, clearly. Maybe I had been worse than I remembered.
- "Hey, so..."- I stood next to her desk and smiled awkwardly while she grabbed her go-bag and turned to me.
- "I thought this weekend we could go to... go to the new bookstore you, you, you told me about."
I started stuttering as soon as she looked at me. And she didn't reply, so I just continued talking.
- "And maybe I can buy you lunch or dinner, or both"- I smiled awkwardly, but she didn't even move a muscle.
- "I owe you. You fed me for two weeks."
- "And you barely ate what I brought over"- I frowned, feeling a little busted- "Spencer, I'm worried about you"- she was standing so close to me, I could smell her shampoo.
- "Don't be,"- I whispered and looked down at my shoes- "I'm ok now."
- "Are you?"- I nodded and felt her hands rubbing my arms sweetly and carefully. I couldn't help it and raised my eyes to meet hers. My heart skipped a beat as she looked at me so worried, I felt guilty.
- "I've been better, but I promise, if anything horrible happens, you'll be the first to know,"- I whispered and looked at her. I was full of shit.
- "Swear?"- (Y/N) asked softly, and I nodded immediately.
- "I swear."
No, I wasn't ok, of course, and I'm sure it was clear for anyone to see in the days to follow, 'cos suddenly everybody was treating me like I was broken. Sure, I was. But I didn't want to be treated like such.
(Y/N) sat next to me in the jet. That made me feel better. We went through the case files and analyzed the threat note one of the victims had received. Putting my head on the work always makes me feel better. My job and books are my security blanket.
- "We see Ken with you, and it makes us sick. Take care to stop this now, or you will pay. If you tell anyone about this, you will pay,"- I read out loud and frowned.
- "Strange, it doesn't seem real,"- (Y/N) said as soon as I was done.- "First of all, the use of "we" in a threat this direct it's almost always bogus."
- "One individual trying to diffuse responsibility,"- Emily added, nodding.
- "Also, the message itself seems contradictory. On the one hand, "take care to stop this now, or you will pay." Presumably, they want them to stop seeing each other. But then, on the other hand, they don't want them to go public with it."
(Y/N) finished talking, and I smiled, looking at her. The whole team was nodding at her words. Gideon had to know by then she was brilliant. 'Cos she was, and I wanted him to acknowledge it. I didn't want them to hate each other.
- "The point of hate crimes is to increase publicity, not decrease it. It's like terrorism,"- Hotch added.
- "An effective threat lets everybody know that they are in danger if they do this behavior. The author would want Sandra to tell people about the note"- (Y/N) continued explaining. I just closed the file and looked at her. She was saying everything I wanted to say.
- "Doesn't sound like a guy who's actually prepared to kill,"- JJ said.
- "Actually, it doesn't sound like a guy at all"- (Y/N) looked at her and explained- "Take care to stop this" implies empathy. I mean, "Take care," males don't use this type of language"- she sighed and looked at the team.
- "At least not when they are trying to threaten somebody. This message was clearly written by a female, and based on the lack of psychological sophistication, I'd say it's most likely an adolescent."
- "You think a girl killed these kids?"- JJ asked her in shock, clearly doubting everything (Y/N) had just said.
- "I think a girl wrote this note,"- my best friend simply replied.
- "Let's call that mystery number one,"- Gideon said. Morgan looked at me and raised an eyebrow.
- "You are awfully quiet, pretty boy"- and I simply shrugged.
- "(Y/N) said everything I was thinking. She is right, a girl wrote this note, and it doesn't mean it's the same person who committed those crimes."
(Y/N)'s point of view
It was clear there was something wrong with Reid. But after that morning, I decided I wouldn't ask anymore. I was just going to see. See if I could crack his mind and find out what it was. It wasn't the trauma or the clear PTSD. There was something there. Something that made him paler, the ring under his eyes darker. He kept fidgeting the whole time, scratching his arms. He would sometimes disappear, holding his satchel as if his life depended on it.
There was something wrong with Spencer. And by the look in his eyes, Gideon knew it too.
The next couple of weeks, I didn't know which Spencer I would find each time I talked to him. He was grumpier each day. He would work as good and as fast as always, but his humor was a mess. You could tell he wasn't sleeping, and he wasn't eating properly. And each time I knocked on his door, I didn't know what was going to happen.
- "(Y/L/N), can you come over for a second?"- there was a deep awkward silence in the bullpen after we all heard Hotch calling me to his office. I just nodded and stood up, trying to figure out if I had done something wrong in the lastest days. But I couldn't think of anything. I did my best.
- "Please, sit down,"- Hotch said as soon as I closed the door behind my back. Gideon was there, sitting on a couch, and Aaron pointed at the one next to him.
- "Is this because I laughed at Anderson's tie the other day? I'm sorry, I know it was out of place, but I apologized to him, and everything is fine."
- "We need to talk about Reid"- Gideon went straight to the point. I just held my breath and nodded.
- "Have you talked to him about what's going on? We know you are his closest friend, and we are worried he is not ok."- Hotch was talking like a father, not like a boss.
- "He is in denial"- I sighed and closed my eyes, defeated- "I've tried to find out what is happening, 'cos it's not just the abduction, there is something else there."
I made a pause and looked at them. They were worried sick, just as I was. It didn't even need to profile them.
- "But the only thing I can think of is..."- the three of us stared at each other in silence. We all knew it- "You are thinking the same as we are"- and they nodded in silence- "Dilaudid?"
- "We don't know what it is, but he has a problem, it's obvious,"- Hotch said and looked at me. I could tell he was worried sick.
- "It's the only thing that makes sense to me. Tobias used it, and maybe he gave it something while they were in the cabin."
- "You didn't notice anything strange before that?"
- "No, Hotch, before that abduction, he was just Reid, not whoever he is right now..."
I never thought I would end up talking about my fears of Reid using drugs with the chief unit and the best profiler on earth. But there I was. And I was desperate for their help.
- "What are we going to do?"- it was the only thing I could ask, 'cos it was the only thing I wanted to know.
- "We are not going to report him,"- Gideon quickly replied- "Strauss would fire him right away, and we all know the kid just needs help. He ain't no junkie."
- "Should we make an intervention or..."- I didn't know how to finish that line. They looked at each other and simply shook their heads.
- "We'll give him a couple of weeks. We are hoping he is going to reconsider what he is doing on his own."
- "And if he doesn't?"- I had to ask, 'cos it was what I feared the most.
- "Then we'll intervene"- Hotch sentenced and stood up- "I know you are worried, and I trust you'll keep a good eye on him."
- "Of course."
- "And don't let this get in the way of work, his, yours, and the team, ok?"- I nodded at Hotch and stood up.
- "If there's anything you need to talk about, I am here,"- Aaron said and looked me in the eyes- "I am worried about him, just as much as you are."
- "Thank you,"- I whispered and walked out.
Spoiler alert: shit got way worse before it started getting better.
The next morning we gathered at the conference room to analyze the case we were called in. We were all there, except for Reid. And neither Hotch nor Gideon looked happy. We stared for a second, and I shook my head. I had no idea where he was. But he was never late. In fact, he was always the first one to arrive. I had called him earlier, but it went straight to voicemail. So far, I had nothing.
- "This is Huston's fifth ward"- JJ explained and showed us the images of the crime scene on the screen and proceeded to explain.
- "It accounts for a large percent of the city's growing homicide rate due to gang violence and a bustling narcotics trade. Although in the last 48 hours there have been three distinctive murders in the ward."
- "Distinctive how?"- I asked, trying to find more info in the file JJ had given me.
- "Three men, three different socioeconomic groups. All killed on the street with their necks snapped. There appears to be no other injury, and there's no apparent connection between the victims or motive."
We were all in silence, reading and thinking, when suddenly, Spencer walked in.
He was completely wrecked. All his clothes were wrinkled, and his hair was messy. He actually looked like he could use a shower, so he had obviously overslept. He kept sipping his coffee cup and walking slowly to his chair.
We all looked at him in silence. Morgan and Emily were shocked to see him like this. Don't get me wrong, so was I, but somehow at that point, I was waiting for something like this to happen. Maybe it was the warning we needed to make our intervention.
- "The ward's detectives are inundated with homicides. Gang violence is a big problem"- JJ continued explaining the case, and I guess we all pretended not to see the big pink elephant in the room.
- "Shootings, armed robberies, it's an everyday occurrence. But this type of street attack is new to them."
I couldn't take my eyes from Spencer. He was fidgeting on his hair, moving constantly, and his eyes were fucking lost. He was high. It was crystal clear. How on earth could he get to work under the influences of whatever it was he was taking? I wanted to slap him. Worst. I wanted to beat the shit up to him.
- "Could it be gang related?"- Emily asked, and part of my focus went back to the case- "Maybe some new type of initiation rite?"
- "The gangs in the ward use guns"- JJ explained- "In fact, no known gangs exhibit this type of M.O."
- "What about dope?"- the words just slipped my lips, and I immediately looked at Spencer as I continued talking- "These guys come up with pretty freaky ways of killing the competition to get their message out."
Reid looked at me and didn't move a muscle for a second. I raised an eyebrow and finally turned to JJ, 'cos she turned to me and continued talking about the case.
- "Yeah, but it just doesn't seem to be any connection between the victims and the drug world."
- "Homeless man, a construction worker, security guard"- Gideon numbered the victims and shook his head. It didn't make sense- "Three dead men and no witnesses."
- "We are looking for a homicidal serial killer in a neighborhood populated by criminals,"- Hotch announced and closed the file.- "The challenge will be separating him from the rest."
- "We have no evidence. No apparent interaction between the unsub with the victims pre or post mortem and an indistinguishable M.O"- Reid's voice was annoyed, and everybody noticed 'cos they looked at him confused- "Should be simple."
That wasn't Spencer. That was an asshole with his face.
- "Wheels up in twenty,"- Hotch announced and stood up. I waited if he called Reid to his office, but he didn't. I could understand it was time to focus on the case, but we couldn't work with a drugged profiler, right?
- "Everything ok?"- I asked Spencer when I stood next to his desk, holding my go-bag, ready to leave the office.
- "Why wouldn't it be?"- he didn't even look at me when he talked.
- "'Cos you were late for work for the first time since I started working in the BAU."
- "It was going to happen eventually. Everybody is late for work every once in a while."
Reid finished whatever it was that he was doing on his desk and walked away from me. Just like that. It was clear that it wasn't going to be an easy day. And that wasn't my best friend.
When we were on the plane, I sat as far from him as possible. I was actually next to Gideon and Hotch. I felt like I needed their support at that moment. Mostly 'cos I didn't want to snap in front of Reid, and I knew they would hold me back.
Derek walked to me in the jet while we analyzed the victims and gave me a cup of coffee. I bet he could tell there was something wrong. I smiled and whispered thank you, and decided to focus on the case, 'cos that was what mattered the most that minute.
- "Let's see if any of the victims frequented the same stores or sites,"- Hotch said, going through the files again.
- "He used blitz attacks, which means he most likely lacks the interpersonal skills"- finally Spencer said something useful related to the case- "He needed to coerce his victims into coming close. And he also used the element of surprise, which means he may have stalked his victims prior to killing them."
- "Well, if that's the case, I wanna go back to the crime scenes to see where he may have been hiding,"- Morgan said and looked at me- "Are you in, pretty girl?"
- "Count me in,"- I answered and smiled. I was glad to be paired with Derek, 'cos I didn't feel like being with Spencer that day.
- "I want to see the neighborhood for myself,"- Gideon added.
- "The rest of you will go to the precinct and set up shop,"- Hotch commanded.
- "I'll map out the area and see if I can find any places the victims would have visited in the neighborhoods,"- Reid said and looked at me.
- "Good, maybe we can find a connection between them. I'll help you with that"- the way Spencer turned to Emily after she said that was unknown. He was upset she had offered her help. What the fuck?
- "I can handle it,"- he answered coldly, and the silence on the jet was instant. And awkward. I looked at my best friend in shock as Hotch tried to keep his cool.
- "I wasn't suggesting that you couldn't"- Emily excused herself, but Reid was still mad somehow.
- "You know what "I'll help you with it" means?"- and before he kept talking, Hotch interrupted him and mandated.
- "Reid, Prentiss will help you with the geographical profile and victimology."
- "Fine,"- Spencer answered and looked down at the file again.
That wasn't my friend. That was a down-water version of him. Both Gideon and Hotch looked at him and didn't say a word. The heavy silence hung between us for a while. Prentiss looked at me, not getting what was wrong with Reid, and I tried to smile at her and make her feel better. I don't think I could anyway.
- "Do you know what's wrong with Reid?"- Prentiss, Morgan, and JJ walked to me as soon as we stepped off the jet. They were puzzled by his behavior, and I couldn't blame them.
- "He is going through..."- I paused my words and started over- "He is not doing..."- I stopped and started for the third time, making my best to sum up what was happening.
- "He is fucked up."
That was the best I could do to explain what was happening.
- "Please, don't take it personally"- I looked at Emily with pleading eyes- "I know I'm not the one who should apologize, but he is clearly not taking the abduction's effect pretty well, and he refuses to go to therapy."
- "We are all worried for the kid,"- Morgan said as we all walked to the SUV. Reid was walking ahead of us, and it felt he just wanted to get as far from us as possible.
- "Yeah, I know... just bear with him, please."
Now that I think about it, I don't know why I was apologizing for his behavior. I guess 'cos I knew he wouldn't. And also, there was a part of me that felt guilty. I felt I wasn't doing anything to help him. I felt I was letting him sink.
Spencer's point of view
I don't know how I didn't get fired that day. Or in the days to follow. I was acting like an asshole, and I know it now. Back then, I was out of myself. I couldn't help it. I was trying to quit, but it was too hard. I couldn't take it. My whole body was craving for a little fix. The last one, just one more. That's what I kept telling myself. So I kept using, and I kept trying to quit again.
Those days were hell. The case in Huston showed the worst of me, I think. I even had a meltdown in the police station 'cos there was too much noise. Can you believe that? I lost it 'cos there was a construction site outside, and the noise bothered me.
Hotch raised an eyebrow as he saw my reaction, and I got it in a second. He knew. Then why wasn't he doing anything? I shook away those thoughts from my head and tried to focus on the case again. But, of course, things weren't going to be easy.
- "Let's get a list of residents who've been kicked out of their homes by the gentrification. Reid, you and Prentiss go check the shelters."- Gideon said, and I clenched my fist immediately. I didn't want to work with anyone that day. Why were they forcing me?
- "Yeah, we are on it"- Emily stood up right away and obviously, met my annoyed eyes- "Unless you are ok with that, Reid?"- I swear, I hated her.
- "I'm fine with that"- I spit the words and walked out the station with her.
All I kept thinking was how long until I reached my room to get high again. And when it started affecting my job, that's when I first got worried. Maybe Dilaudid wasn't something I could handle on my own.
The fact I was stuck with Prentiss wasn't even the worst part of my day. The fact I had to go out there and talk to people, ask questions, read their body language, and take mental notes of everything they said, was annoying. I wanted to get the fuck out there. Just like that. I swear I was doing my best to do my job, but my body and mind weren't letting me concentrate. I just wanted to end with the day and be alone.
That's why when we were at the shelter, I tried to make the interview as fast and short as possible.
Emily and I talked with one of the administrators of the shelter. It was packed, just as we thought it'd be. All the homeless losing their place on the street didn't have anywhere to go.
- "It looks like you have your hands full"- Emily pointed out the obvious and started annoying me right away.
- "With the demolitions in the projects and the abandoned buildings, there's no place else for people to sleep."
- "Well, thank god there are people like you who take the time..."- but I didn't have time for Emily's bullshit.
- "Do you have a list of everyone who comes through here?"- I asked to end with the senseless conversation.
- "Uh... well we have a sign-in sheet."- Angie answered, confused- "But we don't force anyone to sign in if they don't want to. Some who don't even use their real names"- she paused and smiled- "Elvis eats here a lot."
- "We would appreciate any lists you have"- finally, Emily cooperated with the investigation.
- "Have you noticed anyone who acts unusually aggressive towards the other residents?"- I went straight to the point.
- "What is this about?"
- "A series of murders in the area. The perpetrator may be a homeless man. Maybe someone who stays here. He may even be in this room as we speak."
- "My god, Reid!"- I know Prentiss wanted to smack me. But I didn't care.
- "Have you noticed anyone who acts paranoid or displays explosive, unprovoked bursts of violence. More than just pushing and shoving? I mean, someone who really tried to harm others."
- "There are territorial fights over food and places to sleep. The nurse treats people for minor injuries all the time. But no one is seriously hurt."
- "If anyone does come to mind, give us a call"- I gave Angie my card and said goodbye. I needed to get out of there.
I know. I was harsh. But to be fair, she had to know she might actually face a psychopath any minute, and she had to be alert. Of course, Prentiss didn't agree with me, 'cos the second she found me outside the shelter after talking with Angie, she started arguing.
- "There's a high presence of mental disorders with the homeless,"- I said as soon as I saw her, but, of course, she didn't care about the facts.
- "What the hell was that in there?"- she nearly yelled at me. I just looked at her, annoyed, and crossed my arms on my chest.
- "What?"
- "He may even be in this room as we speak?  We have nothing to support that!"
- "We are investigating a serial homicide. Should I have pretended there's no danger?"
- "We just left that woman potentially afraid of every man who walks into this shelter!"
- "Again, until we find this unsub, how is that a bad thing?"- she looked at me in disbelief, like he couldn't understand why I was telling her the truth.
- "What's the matter with you?"
- "What do you mean what's the matter with me?"
- "I have never seen you act like this"- and that just sealed the deal for me. I hated Emily that day.
- "Oh, really? on! in the months that you know me, you have never seen me act this way?"- the sarcasm in my voice was obvious, as well as the frustration in my voice- "No offense, Emily, but you don't really know what you are talking about, do you?"
She looked at me, shocked, and didn't say another word. I just walked away from her and decided to take a cab back to the police station. I didn't even want to be in the same SUV as her.
Why was I mad at Prentiss? I don't know. I think I was 'cos she was still acting as the new kid, always cheerful and willing to help. I guessed she could be my punchball. She wouldn't mind. She was trying to please everybody, after all.
Lucky for me, we were able to finish that case quickly. The next morning, everything was solved, and though our unsub was dead, I was glad we were on our way home. However, I was sad about our killer. He meant no harm. He was having a psychotic break due to his time serving the country in Afghanistan. He thought we were at war. He wanted to save people and saw the victims as possible threats. He didn't mean to kill innocents. He was just... not himself anymore. I could understand that.
- "Hey"- (Y/N) walked over me when we landed that night- "Do you need a ride home?"
- "No, thanks,"- I answered immediately and grabbed my satchel tight- "I think I'll take the subway."
She looked at me and bit her lips for a few seconds, walking next to me. Until she just grabbed my arm and forced me to stop.
- "What the hell? (Y/N)?"
- "Listen, Spencer, I know what's going on, and I want to help you. Can you please talk to me!"- I furrowed my brows and clenched my jaw. Did she know about Dilaudid? How? Why?
- "I don't know what you are talking about,"- I muttered and freed my arm from her hand.
- "Fine, you don't wanna face it! just know this: I know what you are going through, and I am here to help you."
- "Really, (Y/N)? you know what I'm going through?"
My heart was racing, and my palms were sweaty. I didn't want to be there, and I didn't want to fight my best friend. But I just needed to go back home and get fucking high. And she was in the way.
- "Because as far as I remember, you are not the one who got abducted and tortured for four days just a few weeks ago."
- "Seriously, Reid?"- she grunted and crossed her arms on her chest, just like I did- "You think you can play the pity card on me? so 'cos I wasn't kidnapped this month, I don't get what the fuck you are going through?"
- "What the fuck do you want me to say? you just don't get it, and that's it."
I turned around and walked away from her. I knew I was hurting her, but I didn't want to talk. I didn't want to tell her what was going on. And most of all, I really needed to get home.
- "Fine, Reid, do what you want!"- she grabbed my arm and pulled me again- "Go home and fucking get high!"
- "What the fuck are you talking about?"- and I denied everything right away.
- "Don't pretend you don't know, 'cos you are crystal clear to me, Spencer. Whatever it is that you are doing, you can talk to me! I am your friend! I wanna help you!"
- "You don't know what you are talking about."
That was all I could say. I saw her eyes tearing up, so I turned around and ran from her. I literally ran. I didn't want to hear her cry. I didn't want to talk to her again. I just needed to get home and get fucking high. Reality had turned into something I could barely face sober. As simply and hurtful as that.
(Y/N)'s point of view
I didn't take Spencer's words personally 'cos I knew he was craving, and he would do and say anything to get to his house and get high. He might even not wait to get home. And I was worried sick. So I turned to the one person I could talk about this, no questions asked.
- "So, tell me what's the matter, nugget?"- Frank and I sat on my couch, drank a few beers, and after a while dancing around the subject, he pushed me to talk.
- "I'm worried about Spencer."
- "Doc? what is it?"
- "He is using"- Frank turned to me in shock- "Yes, I know."
- "How? When? Why?"
- "Remember I told you he was kidnapped and tortured? Well, the guy who had him started injecting him Dilaudid, or at least that's why I'm inferring, 'cos he has been using something that's definitely not pot or coke, for the lastest weeks."
Frank looked at me like I was insane. I know he kept thinking it was impossible someone like Reid would do such a thing, but I could actually understand why he might do it. His life had been shitty. He found an escape from the pain. I just wished it was something that didn't hurt him as drugs did.
- "He is vanishing, Frankie,"- I whispered and sighed. I was trying my best not to cry. He wrapped an arm around my shoulders and moved me closer to him until he was able to kiss the top of my head.
- "I really don't know how to help him."
- "That's the worst part, you are not going actually to help him until he is ready to be helped."
I knew he was right, and that was worse, 'cos I was afraid Spencer would never be ready for help. I was terrified he would hide in the drugs forever.
- "Paco?"- I whispered and started crying
- "What is it, nugget?"
- "I really don't know what to do"- and just like that, I burst into tears. I had been holding them for weeks now, and suddenly, I just couldn't take it anymore.
- "Come on, don't cry."
Frank held me tight, and I just cried until my head hurt. We just sat there, on the couch. He hugged me and kept rocking my body until there were no more tears left inside of me.
- "Nugget, you have to be strong, as far as I know, you are the closest friend he has."
- "Yeah, I know... no pressure there, right?"- he smiled, and I sighed, closing my eyes. I felt confused and defeated. I really didn't know how to help my best friend.
- "You have to remember, you can't use aggressive language when you talk to him, no matter how mad he is driving you."
- "He yelled at me last time we talked."
- "And you yelled back, I guess"- I nodded, guilty, and stood up. I needed another beer. No, I needed something stronger.
I walked to the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of scotch from my tiny, humble little bar. I didn't usually drink scotch, but I swear I needed it.
- "So, any advice? I need your best psychologist's point of view to face this mess"- I walked back to the living room and handed Frank another beer.
- "Yes, stop yelling. That will only push him away from you."
- "But he is making me mad!"
- "He is a drug addict (Y/N). This is not about you!"
- "Fair point"- I kept walking around the room, trying to breathe and calm myself down. I really needed that advice.
- "Don't harass him. You have to build trust and a safe space for him to talk to you."
- "I am his best friend. What more trust does he need?"
- "You don't have to judge him!"
- "I would never!"- and just like that, I started yelling.
- "Yeah, control your shitty temper, (Y/N)"- Frank had a point, and I hated it.
- "Noted, then what? How can I make him ask for help?"
- "You can't... you have to wait and hope for the best."
- "That's all you've got?"- Frank sighed and stood up. He walked to me and held my shoulders still so I wouldn't walk away.
- "You have to understand this: he has to want to get help. If not, you are just going to have a bunch of failed attempts that will frustrate him. And you might actually push him away from you, 'cos you and I know you will turn into this obsessive person that will be on him, day and night telling him to get help."
Frank was right. I hate when Frank is right. I'm not used to living in a world where Frank is right.
- "So, I have to wait until he wants to get better?"
- "Yes"
- "Can I make him want to get better? Is that cheating?"- I walked back to the kitchen and grabbed a bag of chips. Each time I feel anxious, I start eating. I can't help it.
- "Listen, he won't ask for help, he won't acknowledge he has a problem, and he will probably be embarrassed he is doing drugs, so whatever you do, don't push him, ok?"
- "Yes"- I whispered- "But... making him want to get better..."
- "How would you fucking do that without pushing him?!"
- "I don't know, Frank!"- I snapped and kept eating chips for a whole minute nonstop.
- "Come on, give me that"- my friend grabbed the bad and kept it away from me- "Keep your shit together, Reid needs you."
- "How can he need me if you keep saying I can't help him?!"
- "You can. You just have to find a way to make him want to ask for help without being pushy and annoying"- I knew he was trying to help me, but it was hard to see the light at the end of that tunnel.
- "Come here"- I walked to him and felt his arms around me- "You are awesome, nugget, you are gonna be ok."
- "It's him who I'm worried about."
- "I mean, you are gonna do fine helping him. He listens to you. He is going to be ok with you."
- "Thank you..." - Frank looked at me and smiled mischievously for a second.
- "I know this is a shitty moment, but I have to tell you, the gang and me... we've been talking and, we want you to date Doc."
There's no word on earth to describe the look on my face when I heard him saying those words. He simply smiled innocently and squeezed my cheeks.
- "And you are blushing!! you are adorable."
- "Shut up!"- I was going to argue with Frank, but he was saved by my phone. JJ called. We had a case. It was time to go.
- "You know, we always whine about you never being here because of your job,"- Frank said as I drove him back home on my way to Quantico- "But I'm really proud of you, nugget."
I looked at him and noticed he was serious. He was actually tearing up.
- "Frankie..."
- "I know things will never be the way they were before, and we won't hang out all the time doing anything, but the fact you are out there, making a difference, it's really inspiring."
- "Frankie..."
- "I'm sorry I'm getting this emotional, I just... needed to tell you. Lu said the other day you were always in danger in this job, you are usually in gunfire and risking your life, and none of us had thought about that. So from now on, each time I see you, I'm gonna tell you: I love you, I'm proud of you, and you are my little sister, forever. ok?"
I nodded at Frank and bit my lips. I was nearly crying as I heard those words. He just smiled and held my hand for a second.
- "Take care out there, and tell me how Doc is going, ok?"- I nodded and sighed. Frank is really my brother. I love talking to him. He might act like an asshole, but he is actually one of the smartest assholes I know.
I tried to wipe off my tears as I walked into the bullpen that night, but I knew I had done a lousy job when JJ looked at me and nearly ran over, concerned.
- "Are you ok? (Y/N)?"- I just bit my lips and nodded- "Come here"- she held my hand and walked me to the bathroom.
- "What's wrong?"
I felt overwhelmed at that minute. My talk with Frank had touched a nerve, I think. So I did the last thing I thought I could do. I hugged JJ tight and held her for a few minutes. She hugged me sweetly and caressed my hair. I kept biting my lips in a poor attempt not to cry, but I knew I was failing.
- "Are you ok? Are you hurt? Did something happen with your boyfriend?"- I shook my head and sighed.
- "I'm ok. I just had a very emotional talk with a friend who basically said he thinks each time we see each other might be the last time because of my job. So that really struck a chord, you know?"
- "Come on, sweety"- JJ smiled at me and wiped off the tears from my cheeks with a tissue.
- "I know it's silly 'cos I actually already knew that. But, sometimes, we don't realize how much we do affect other people's lives. Family, friends..."
- "I know what you mean. I still can't believe what you guys do on the field. Garcia and I, we often talk about how scared we are 'cos something might happen to any of you out there."
I sighed and walked to the mirror to fix my make-up. I looked like shit.
- "Thank you,"- I whispered and looked at my friend- "I know I'm a cold bitch sometimes, but I want you to know I love you, and I love working with you."
- "Come on, you are not a cold bitch"- JJ smiled and walked to me, wrapping an arm around my shoulder as we both looked at each other in the mirror.
- "I yelled at you until you cried once,"- I said, and she simply smiled at me like it never actually happened.
- "You were under an unbearable amount of pressure, and I kind of deserved it, so... no hard feelings."
- "Thank you,"- I whispered and sighed- "Now, let me hide all these tears 'cos I don't want the team to find out I'm a human being with emotions."
- "We all know you are not Hotch"- I chuckled at JJ's words and shook my head.
- "Damn it! I'm failing in my crusade."
Spencer's point of view
(Y/N) had been crying. It was the first thing I noticed when she sat across the table from me in the briefing room. I wanted to know what was going on, but I doubted she wanted to talk to me after what had happened last night. I didn't know what to say or how to approach her. So I just sat there and looked at my notebook, sketching her in silence, not even adding facts to the conversations. I didn't want to be there.
Today was our day off. Under normal circumstances, we would have spent it together. Movies, walking, whatever we felt like doing. But no, I spent my whole free day in my house high, until we got the call to come to Quantico after lunch.
I have been trying to quit. I swear I've tried. But I can't. I can't do it on my own, and I know it. But I can't ask for help. To who? a group? Telling people I'm a drug addict fed? No, thank you. To Hotch? and risk being suspended. No way. To (Y/N)? She would help me, I know, but she wouldn't like me anymore if she knew what I've been doing. I will never face it in front of her. I rather fix this on my own and then make my best to be the old Spencer she is friends with. That's it. That's my plan.
We had to go to New Orleans. A serial killer who had killed three people before Katrina happened, and now after years, was back. They thought he had died in the storm, but suddenly, a fourth body was found. Same M.O, the same type of victim. The police department required our help. So we took the jet.
- "Hey, Reid,"- Morgan woke me from my thoughts suddenly. He was sitting next to me on the jet- "What's going on up there?"
- "Just thinking about this old friend of mine from Las Vegas, Ethan. He lives in New Orleans now."
- "Really? gonna give him a call?"
- "We grew up competing against each other in absolutely everything: Spelling bees, science fairs. we also both had our heart set on joining the bureau, but the first day at Quantico, he backed out."
I never really understood Ethan and why he decided to leave. I always thought of asking, but a part of me felt I knew the answer and didn't want to hear it.
- "Probably he just couldn't take the heat,"- Prentiss said suddenly from the other side of the place and smiled at me. Maybe she thought her comment was funny, but it wasn't. I hated it.
- "It's not really for us to judge, is it?"- she looked at me, puzzled.
- "Right, my bad."
I knew everybody on the jet thought I was rude, and I was, but honestly, I hated Prentiss's comment. I looked at (Y/N). She didn't even take her eyes from the file she read. So, of course, she was still mad at me. And I deserved it, I guess.
Unlucky for me, I was stuck with (Y/N) and Prentiss with the forensic report. We had to see the last victim and try to gather as much information as possible for the investigation. It wouldn't be so hard to work with (Y/N) under regular conditions. I love working with her. We always find a way to crack something from the case that we wouldn't have been able to see on our own.
But this time, we weren't even talking to each other. Needless to say, Prentiss, who had been the target of my hate for the last days.
- "Four layers of fatty tissue sliced through like butter,"- the medic said and shook his head as we all stared at the body- "I've only seen that three other times."
- "You worked this case initially?"- (Y/N) took the words I was going to say. She would usually do that.
- "You don't forget victims like this,"- he answered to her, shaking his head.
- "I can still smell the alcohol on him"- Prentiss pointed out the obvious.
- "This is New Orleans. Dead or alive, it's a smell you get used to."
- "The victim has no defense wounds"- I analyzed 'cos someone had to stop that chat and focus on words. Emily, of course, noticed I was annoyed and looked at me, surprised.- "Meaning this is more likely a blitz attack."
(Y/N) raised the sheet, and the two of us looked at the victim carefully. It was the closest we had been in the whole day. And I could smell her perfume. It was heartwarming, somehow.
- "No hesitation marks or rapid thrust"- she said- "These cuts were methodical, almost procedural."
- "My guess, whoever gutted this guy was taught to,"- I said and crossed my eyes, looking at my best friend. But she didn't say a word back.
- "So you think he might have some medical training?"- Emily asked her, and (Y/N) turned to look at her.
- "Yes, I think it's a good option. How else could he carve around every organ and leave each one intact?"
I kept my eyes on my best friend as Emily talked about something I didn't care about with the forensic. (Y/N) was doing her best not to look at me. That situation was killing me, knowing it was my fault.
When we walked outside, (Y/N) started talking with Emily about the victim, but that conversation soon ended when Hotch called my best friend and asked her to go to the police station. I took my chance as we walked to the SUV and whispered.
- "(Y/N)... can we talk?"
- "Not now, Spencer"- my name had never sounded so cold coming from her before. She looked at me. She wasn't mad or angry. She was just... working.
- "We have a case, maybe later, ok?"- and I just nodded.
When we walked back into the police station, after the most awkward ride back, we found Hotch standing in front of a projector, reading the letters the killer had sent chief Lamontagne, the former police on the case, who had died in Katrina. Now his son was in charge of the case, and he was pretty concerned not to disappoint the memory of his father. That was something I definitely couldn't relate to at all.
- "Is that the letter from the unsub?"- Emily kept asking the obvious questions. (Y/N) sighed and stood in the middle of the room, listening to Hotch reading the letter out loud. I stayed back, just staring at her, waiting for her analysis. I love her analysis.
- "I'm back with a vengeance. I wanted you to know the last guy made it easy, being out so late stumbling home drunk. I enjoyed slicing around his organs. I thought about sending you one. He was asking to be ripped, don't you think, boss? Yours truly"
- "To say the victims were asking to be killed denies all culpability"- (Y/N) said, and I nodded right away- "Most sexual sadist rationalize their own behavior by blaming the victims like that."
- "But there was no evidence of sexual assault in the autopsy"- Emily argued- "He could be a homosexual male stabbing because he needs violence for arousal."
- "Every kill he's acting out a fantasy of revenge"- Hotch supported those thoughts.
- "What if he's acting trying to act out something else?"- I said, connecting the dots between each murderer, 'cos they reminded me of something.
- "Like what?"- Emily asked me, but I didn't even look at her.
- "Except for the victims were men, it's the same M.O."
- "What are you talking about?"- Emily still didn't get it, but (Y/N) did, 'cos she turned to me, and her eyes were bright, and I smiled, knowing when she was thinking.
- "Jack!"- she whispered. I looked at her and nodded.
-  "All four victims were found with their throats slashed, eviscerated, and the murders perpetrated in semi-public places. And the murders perpetrated in semi-public places after dark."
- "Investigators taunted with the letters addressed to "boss." The only difference is that case was one hundred years ago"- (Y/N) continued my thoughts, and I couldn't stop smiling, glad we were still able to think together like that.
- "And they took place in London"- I finished and (Y/N) nodded. But soon, her smile faded, and her eyes were locked back on the screen.
- "Jack the Ripper"- Emily finally figured it out.
- "And the unsub wants us to think that he's the modern-day version loose in New Orleans."
That night I had a shot of whisky from the mini bar, washed my face, did my best to stay calm, and walked to (Y/N)'s room. JJ opened the door. She and Emily were there with (Y/N). There were many file folders on the bed, so it was clear they were working the case. I froze for a second. I didn't expect to see them there. I took a deep breath and simply asked.
- "Hey... can we talk?"- I ignored JJ and just looked at (Y/N), whose eyes were wide open at the other side of the room.
- "Sure"- she was already in her pajamas, so she put on a hoodie and her sneakers and walked out to the hall with me.
- "Do you want to come to my room?"- I asked her when I saw her shivering- "I'm alone, we can talk, and you won't freeze to death"- and as a Christmas miracle, she accepted.
- "What is it, Spencer?"- she asked me and crossed her arms on her chest as soon as I closed my bedroom door. I stood in front of her and sighed. It was now or never. I had to do it.
- "I'm sorry I yelled at you yesterday"- and she didn't say a word. She just stared at me, waiting for me to continue talking, I guess. But believe it or not, that was all I had.
- "That's it?"- she whispered. I kept looking into her eyes, and suddenly, the only thought in my mind was to move closer to her and run my fingers through her hair. It had to feel so soft, it smelled so good. I couldn't shake the idea from my mind.
- "Spencer?"- she said and frowned. Right, I had to answer.
- "I just wanted to apologize to you. I've been in an awful mood lately 'cos I haven't been sleeping at all, and I took it out on you. I'm sorry."
Her eyes scanned me, every inch of my face and my body. Was she sure I was doing some drugs? Did she just say it because she had a hunch? Am I see-through? I didn't know the answers to any of those questions. What I did know was the fact I had to keep denying my truth.
- "It's ok, Spencer. I shouldn't have pushed you anyway,"- she whispered, and her face softened. I couldn't help it and sighed, relieved.
- "I am so, so sorry, really. I've been feeling like a scum bag the whole day, and I didn't know how to talk to you."
She took a step closer and wrapped her arms around me. Just like that, she hugged me, and I was left speechless. I held her tight and smelled her perfume around me. I prayed it would say in my pajamas, to feel it with me after she was gone.
Yes. I had feelings for my best friend, and they were becoming clearer and stronger every day. But they were a problem I couldn't deal with at that minute. Not when she was in my arms like that, hugging me as her life depended on it, making me feel I was a person worth loving.
When she slowly let me go, her eyes were filled with tears, and my heart broke. She was crying. Was it because of me? Did I hurt her that bad? I felt like the worst person on earth, and all I could do was hold her tight again, feeling her arms locked around my waist.
- "I'm so sorry, so sorry,"- I whispered, and my voice broke.
- "I don't wanna lose you, honey,"- she whispered and sobbed against the fabric of my pajamas.
- "You won't, I swear"- I held her as close as possible, as my eyes watered up too.
- "You are my best friend."
- "You are my best friend too, and I am so sorry I hurt you. I promise I won't do it again"- she looked at me with a short smile and nodded.
I leaned and kissed her forehead. I didn't even think about it. I just did it. And the knot in my stomach reminded me that was the closest I had ever been to her in my entire life.
She sighed and wiped off her tears.
- "Ok, I should go to bed now. I left the girls in my room, and they might be bored already"- I nodded and grabbed my keys.
- "Let me walk you over"- and she giggled.
- "Honey, literally, I just have to walk to the end of the hall. I'll be ok."
- "I know you will. I want to do it. I've been a jerk with you these days, and I need to make amends."
- "You should also make amends with Prentiss, don't you think?"- I just nodded and started walking with her to her room.
- "I'll talk to her tomorrow"- she held my hand and rubbed her thumbs against my skin as we walked. I loved it. I had never held someone's hand as I walked, except, of course, my mother's when I was a kid.
- "Thank you,"- she whispered as we stood outside her door. I just smiled and looked at her. In a parallel universe, I would lean in and kiss her. But in this universe, I only smiled and waved.
- "See you tomorrow, (Y/N)."
- "Goodnight, Spencer."
(Y/N)'s point of view
When I walked into my room, JJ and Prentiss were waiting for me, sitting on my bed, drinking the beer Emily had brought. They both looked at me in silence, with widened eyes for a few seconds until I shrugged.
- "So, where were we?"
- "What is wrong with Reid?"- JJ asked immediately, ignoring my comment. I just sighed and walked to get a beer. I knew there was no way I was going to get out of that conversation.
- "He has been an asshole with me for the last week"- Emily added- "I know there's something there 'cos he snapped on me the other day, he even yelled at me."
- "He yelled at me too"- I confessed- "We were just talking about that. He has been in a shitty mood."
I didn't want to mention the drug use. I wasn't sure, and I didn't know if Emily or JJ had noticed anything related to that issue.
- "Are you sure that's all that's going on with him?- Prentiss knew. She was a good profiler, and Reid wasn't too subtle either. I just looked at her and shook my head.
- "We are working on it"- I lied. I wasn't part of "working" on anything yet. But I didn't want them to get involved in that problem.
- "You can count on us too"- JJ sat next to me and held my hand- "We love Spence, and we can help him. We want to help him."
- "I know, and right now, all I can ask you to help me with is to bear with his shit for a little longer. He has big mood swings, and he has trouble sleeping..."
I tried not to give them any detailed information about his situation.
- "We are"- I didn't know how to explain- "He has to work on his shit and I'm trying to give him all the support he needs. But, he doesn't want to share this with anyone. Hotch and Gideon already talked to me."
They nodded in silence and looked at me, honesty concerned.
- "Is he..."- JJ couldn't even finish her sentence- "Do you know if he..."
- "I'm not sure"- and that time, I didn't lie- "He is not ready to give me all the details, but he is ready for help. So please, patient. If he hurts you, it's not personal. It's not him. Ok?"
My friend sighed. JJ looked at me in silence and rubbed her hand on mine again. I could tell she was concerned, and I knew she wanted to help. I just didn't know how she could help that minute.
- "You are the best friend Spencer could ever ask for,"- Emily said and smiled at me- "You are always so worried about him."
- "He is my best friend, and all I want for him is happiness,"- I said and shrugged- "He deserves it."
- "If I didn't know better, I'd say you are in love with him."
Prentiss looked into my eyes, and I didn't move a muscle for a few seconds. I knew my cheeks were turning red, but I refused to give her the wrong impression.
- "Yeah, some people usually think that when a man and a woman are best friends,"- I simply replied, and she nodded.
There was a small silence in my room. I knew Prentiss didn't mean to say that in a mean way, but I didn't feel comfortable with her comment. I think she noticed, 'cos after a few seconds, she smiled at me and turned to JJ.
- "Now, why don't we talk about detective William Lamontagne?"- and our dear JJ turned blood red right away.
- "What is there to say?"- Emily and I looked at each other and chuckled- "What? he is nice. He is very affected by the case 'cos he wants to make sure to honor his father's work."
- "I think he has been very affected by you during this case,"- I said and shook my head, as JJ tried to deny it- "Oh, come on! He has been giving you the puppy eyes the whole time we've been here! earlier at the police station, he bumped into a wall and nearly dropped his coffee 'cos he couldn't stop looking at you!!"
- "Yeah!! I saw that!!"- Prentiss said, laughing too- "You are driving that guy insane!"
- "No, I am not!"- JJ was so flustered it was both funny and cute at the same time.
- "Yes, you are. It's a shame he lives so far from home"- I sighed at my words and looked at JJ, biting her inner lip- "There are always cellphones, though."
- "Yeah! he is hot, you should ask him out when the case is done"- Prentiss supported my words, and JJ even stood up, completely blushed, and started walking around the room.
- "I am nice to him, and my focus right now is on the investigation, ok?"- Emily and I nodded.
- "Yes, we know, but you can focus on another aspect of detective Lamontagne when the investigation is over, and the case is solved"- the way JJ looked at me, I thought she was going to kill me- "What? I'm just saying!"
The next morning wasn't as pleasant as my evening with my friends. There had been another murder. The whole team stood around the dead body, talking with the police and the victim's two friends, who still couldn't believe what was going on.
- "So, the three of you were out together last night?"- Reid asked one of the victim's friends.
My friend looked calmed that day but still too pale, and the rings under his eyes were still too dark. Had he used something the night before? Was he still a little high? I had no idea. I just hoped he was in a better mood with Prentiss that day and that he could apologize to her as he had apologized to me.
- "Mark had just paid his tab at one bar, and he was on his way to meet us at another."
- "You guys get in any trouble?"- I asked, looking at their faces, trying to read if they were lying- "Drunken brawl? Anyone get out of hand?"
- "We were just out to have fun, you know. Minded our own business"- one of them answered, and you could tell he was deeply affected by the death of his friend. He really wasn't hiding anything.
- "Could Mark have met a girl? Maybe upset her boyfriend?"- Derek asked, and he looked so serious even I got a little scared of him. I knew he was trying to play "bad cop," trying to see if any of those guys were lying.
- "No, sir."
- "He struck out as we all did."
- "Thanks, guys"- Morgan nodded at them, and they turned around to talk to the police. We were left with detective Lamontagne, who honestly looked defeated.
- "It's getting hard to keep up with this guy."
- "Well, if he is mimicking Jack the Ripper, that might be precisely the point"- Emily stood next to him, and I don't know if he tried to comfort him or just tried to make him see we were all pretty confused with the case.
- "He terrorized London for months without ever getting caught."
I don't think those last words Prentiss said made him feel any better, though.
- "I'd appreciate it if you'd gather your men"- Gideon walked to Lamontagne and spoke to him in a soft voice- "We'd like to give you a profile of you're up against."
We left for the police station after that, and Reid disappeared. He told Hotch he wanted to call his friend Ethan. Maybe he might have heard or known something about the killer. It sounded like bullshit to me, but maybe talking to his friend could help him clear his mind. Ethan was his best friend in college. Perhaps he could help him, talk some sense to him. I don't know. I was trying my best to be positive.
We delivered the profile to the local police and stayed in the station. I was going over the letters again, trying to see what I was missing. And I had to do my best to look professional each time detective Will flirted with JJ. But that was the hardest task, 'cos Emily would look at me, and I had to bit my lips and close my eyes not to chuckle.
Gideon was sitting next to me, going through the files. It was nice being finally able to work along with him. After what happened with Reid, it was clear the two of us were finally on the same page. And I loved it.
My phone rang, and for a second, I thought I might be Spencer with some fresh info. But it was Garcia, also with new information.
- "Hello Garcia"
- "Munchkin, you are a smart girl. What was the thing Jack the ripper took from one of his victims?"
- "Other than his life?"
- "Yeah, besides that."
- "A kidney, gross and bloody"- only in this job you can chuckle at that kind of conversation.
- "How horrifyingly fantastic is that?"
- "I don't know. It depends. What would you need a kidney for back then? Threaten? Eat? Make a statement. But why are we talking about this?"
- "Your friendly neighbor Penelope just found an unsolved murder that happened four months ago in Galveston, Texas, with the same M.O. and the victim missing that very organ. I amaze myself."
- "I love you, you know that, right?"
- "It's impossible not to love me, munchkin. Later."
- "Thank you"
- "What's that?"- Gideon asked me as soon as I hung down.
- "Garcia found a similar case in Galveston, Texas."
- "A lot of Katrina refugees relocated there."
- "It could be the same guy. He removed a kidney, just like the ripper."- Jason looked at me and nodded.
- "Call Reid and Morgan. I want the three of you on a plane to Texas tonight."
Spencer's point of view
Ethan and I were having a drink in the local bar he played in. It was nice talking to him. Everybody knows I'm not a big fan of technology, and calling him wasn't really my thing. Just like answering my letters wasn't really his.
I was in the middle of a fascinating conversation with my friend when my phone rang. It was (Y/N). I hesitated for a second. I really wasn't in the mood for work. I wanted to be at that bar, drinking, not catching a Jack the ripper wanna be. So I didn't answer. For the first time in over three years.
- "So, are you gonna ask the question?"- Ethan turned to me suddenly and gave me an ironic smile.
- "What question?"
- "Come on, man. It's me here. We haven't talked to each other in a while. I know it's why you called me. Ask the question."
I smiled at him and sighed. He was right. I knew what he meant.
- "Why did you quit after only one day of FBI training?"- we stayed in silence for a second. Then, finally, Ethan sipped his drink and sighed.
- "I'm sure you've considered the evidence, analyzed the signs. What's your theory?"
He was right again. More than an answer, I needed him to confirm my hypothesis.
- "You were battling your own demons. You didn't have time to analyze someone else's."
That wasn't just what I thought he had been through. That's what I thought I was going through as well. I had so much in my mi, and I felt overwhelmed by the case. I didn't know if I had what it took to be an SSA. I didn't know if I wanted to be one anymore.
I thought the only person who could guide me was Ethan. That's why I didn't answer the phone that minute, when (Y/N) started calling me again.
- "The batphone"- Ethan teased me, and I felt I was forced to smile. But, to be honest, I wasn't in the mood for jokes. I wasn't in the mood for anything but maybe a little fix to deal with my head.
- "Do you ever regret it?"- I don't know why I asked if I knew his answer before he even opened his mouth.
- "I may not be changing the world, but music makes me happy."- he made a pause and looked right into my eyes- It doesn't take a profiler to see that you are not.
I don't know if I'm too obvious or my friends know me too well. Ethan walked to a couch, and I followed him, holding my brandy.
- "It's not easy. And it's not... I don't think you believe some of the things that I've seen."
- "John Coltrane"- he said as I sat on another small couch across from him- "He was a genius too. Died of cancer, but most people think it was the booze and heroin that did him in."
- "What are you trying to say?"- it was clear where this was going.
- "You look like hell,"- I grunted and shook my head.
- "I'm fine."
- "Come on, man, I'm a jazz musician in New Orleans. I know what it looks like when someone's not well"- I made my best not to look at him and kept my eyes on the carpet.
- "This may be the only time I can tell you something that you don't already know. That might help you forget, but it won't make it go away."
I hated to hear that, 'cos I knew it was true. And it was the one thing I really didn't want to deal with.
- "And if I can tell"- he continued- "You are surrounded by some of the best minds in the world. And if you think they don't notice..."- I finally looked at him, and he simply shook his head- "Well, for a genius, that's just dumb."
I was left sitting at that bar, speechless. Drinking my brandy, not ready to face my truth or my own mind. (Y/N) kept calling me, and I just kept ignoring her. I couldn't deal with work. I couldn't deal with her either. I couldn't deal with anything that wasn't that glass of brandy in my hand, and the second I was about to ask.
Ethan's words broke a record in my head, repeating over and over: "That might help you forget, but it won't make it go away."
Well, that night, I was just trying to forget, I guess.
The next morning I arrived at the police station alone. Everybody was already there. I knew what I was going to, but I couldn't avoid it. I didn't really care that much that moment. I was still numb inside, not sure if I wanted to be there. I just didn't know where else in the world I could be.
- "Hey, you guys are back from Galveston?"- I asked Morgan and (Y/N), trying to look cool. But neither of them looked happy.
- "First light this morning. Where were you?"- Derek asked as (Y/N) kept her eyes on the file she was reading.
- "I was out with a friend. I already told you"- I sat at the table and sipped my coffee.
- "I called you four times- (Y/N) murmured and kept reading. She didn't even want to look at me, obviously.
- "I didn't have any cell phone reception. So I didn't get your message until late."
I had practiced that excuse the whole way back from the hotel. It's what I had told Hotch when he called me earlier. But somehow, I knew it was going to be harder to bullshit (Y/N). Like she always says: "You can't bullshit a bullshitter."
- "Sure, whatever helps you sleep"- she simply answered and looked away.
I really didn't want to be there. I'm not good at dealing with (Y/N) mad at me. I swear I can take Morgan, or Hotch, even Gideon. But her? it physically hurt to see her ignoring me like that.
- "What's going on?"- I asked in the softest voice I could and looked at Morgan. He took a good look at me, frowning. And finally, he answered.
- "Our unsub is a woman"- ok, that was new.
- "We just found another body at the quarter,"- Hotch said, walking over us. And that was the end of the awkward meeting.
That was a miserable day. Morgan tried to talk to me about why I had missed the plane, why I hadn't answered my phone. Why I wasn't really talking with anybody. But I didn't want to explain what was happening to me. To make it worse, (Y/N) didn't even look at me for the rest of the day, and I never found the guts to walk to her room and apologize for being a jerk. Again. I wasn't sure what to do about anything anymore.
The night was eternal. I made my best not to use, and spent most of the time walking around the room. The only way I could find to use my mind was to write a letter. I wrote one to my mom. I always write to her. I also wrote one to (Y/N). It was long. I didn't know how to start. Then I didn't know how to stop. And then, I threw it out. It felt good to put my thoughts and feelings down on paper, but she could never read any of the things I wrote.
It was a good idea to write her a letter instead of talking face to face. I felt like a coward... to be fair, I was one. But I just couldn't find a way to tell her how I felt without being caught up with my own words. Maybe I could give it another try when my head was less overwhelmed. Maybe back home.
The case was over by the next day. We caught the unsub before she killed another victim, and I had time to visit Ethan before we left. That's where Gideon found me. I was sitting close to the stage, enjoying my friend's performance when he appeared and sat next to me.
- "How did you find me?"
- "You are not at all hard to profile"- he didn't even look at me. He just sat there in silence and enjoyed the music for a moment- "Your friend is good."
I wanted to tell him everything, but I didn't want him to know at the same time. To be fair, I was sure he already knew. We stayed in silence for a long while, I kept trying to find a way to tell him what was happening, but after a few minutes, the best I could do was:
- "I missed that plane on purpose."
- "I know"- of course he did. So I took a deep breath and tried my best to be honest.
- "I'm struggling"- and I meant everything: my life, my job, drugs. My mental sanity was nonexistent. I needed his advice. And that was the best (and only) way I thought I could get it.
- "Well, anybody who's been through what you've been through recently would"- his voice was soft and warm. He wasn't judging me, and that made me feel relieved. Obviously, he knew what I was talking about, but neither of us was going to say it.
- "It's all I was groomed for. I never even considered another option."
- "Now you are questioning whether or not you are strong enough to be here?"- I nodded and sighed. He was right.
- "Reid, I have been playing at this job in one way or another for almost thirty years. I've felt lost. I've felt great. I've felt scared, sick, and insane."
He looked at me and shrugged. I was fighting the tears back. I wouldn't have been the first time Gideon would see me crying, but I didn't want to scramble in front of him that day.
- "I guess the day this job stops gnawing at your soul and your hands stop feeling cold, maybe that's it's time to leave"
I gave his words a little thinking, trying to rearrange the thoughts inside my head. I was still confused and still lost, but there was something I knew.
- "I guess I just needed to try to figure out if I could step away from this job."
- "And?"
- "I'll never miss another plane again."
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Next update: May 12th, 2021
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uncpanda · 3 days ago
Back to the Navy Yard: Part 5
Sypnopsis: Being the daughter of Leroy Jethro Gibbs wasn’t easy, but you made it work . . .right up until you decide to break away from the “safe” life plan and join the FBI. When your father and the family you’ve made stops talking to you, you find a new one with the BAU. But years later, when murders connected to you and your father start popping up, you’re forced to examine the past along side your fiance and unit-chief Aaron Hotchner, and soon to be step son Jack. Really, your whole world is up in the air. 
Notes: Eli David and Jackie Vance are both alive, also the timeline between Ziva and Tony was sped up, because slow burn is only good for so long.
Master List
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You and Ziva had always had a unique bond. She’d seen you for the first time the night she had killed Ari. She’d been slumped down on the ground in front of the door to the basement, when you had wandered into the house. You’d been in your freshman year of college, and commuted to school while living at home. Your dad’s GI bill was paying your tuition and you weren’t going into debt just to live on campus. 
There was something in your eyes, red and puffy, that made her think of Tali. That, perhaps, Tali would have grown up like you; happy and in love with life. You had gone to her, looked at her for a moment, and then down the stairs. Gibbs had still been staring at Ari’s body. 
Your voice had been hesitant, “I’m sorry.” 
Those two words had softened something in Ziva, because you had meant them. You had hated Ari for what he had done to Kate. You had considered the woman an older sister in a way, but you also knew the pain of losing a sibling. You had watched Kelly die in that car. And no matter how bad Ari had turned, he had still been her brother, and she had still loved him. 
You had not shunned her, like the rest did. Instead, you often spent evenings by her desk doing homework, and talking about things that would have had your father stuttering: mainly more revealing clothes, boys, and sex. And Ziva had been so grateful for that connection; grateful to have you in her life. To her, you were pure, unworried by the world, and not exposed to its horrors. And that was why she had gone along with Gibbs’ plans; she didn’t want to worry about losing you or have that innocence erased from your eyes. She should have known better; you were more stubborn than Gibbs. So, having you come back into her life, engaged and with a step-son, that was a lot to swallow. 
She kept her eyes moving as she entered the bull pen, at the first sight of Agent Hotchner, she planned to pounce, to interrogate him, and find out his every secret. You had good judgement, but she needed to be sure. She settled her bag at her desk, and it takes Tony three tries to get her attention, “What?” 
Tony’s eyes go wide, “I just asked if you were okay?” 
“No. Y/N is engaged. To Agent Hotchenr. She has a step son.” 
There’s a lot of blinking from both him and McGee, before Tony smiles, “You’re messing with me, right? I spent all day with those BAU people, and I swear Hotchner never smiles. He’s all business. He’s . . . you’re not joking.” 
“McGee! Start digging.” 
Awkward doesn’t even begin to describe the meeting currently taking place. It’s one pm and you’re already on your second glass of wine. Dave had wisely chosen to go check the perimeter. Uncle Dwayne’s voice is a little high pitched,  “Engaged! You’re not old enough to be engaged.” Your eyes flicker to your father; he hasn’t said anything in the hour and a half Leon and Dwayne have been ranting. It had started when they noticed your ring, and had only increased since they found out who it was.
“I’m twenty-nine and a federal agent. I’ve killed people. I think I’m allowed to get married.” 
Your dad straightens at that, “Who the hell did you kill?” 
“A serial killer.” He doesn’t need more information than that. 
Uncle Leon nods, “That’s another thing, how are you going to raise a family with this man when you’re both away from home so much? You both travel all the time. That’s not good for kids! 
You jump to your feet at that, and you stop a foot away, “You don’t know what you’re talking about. You haven’t been there. You don’t know how we run our lives/” 
He stares at you for a second before nodding, “You’re right. I crossed a line.” 
“Everyone is crossing them.” You turn to face your dad, “You can’t cut contact for years and then expect to get a say in my life choices. Especially not through your friends.” 
Your dad’s lips twitch, “How’d you know?” 
“The first thing they did was search my hand for a ring, and from there they waited. It’s not hard to spot when you spend your days doing it to catch killers. Plus, you were too calm when you found out about Aaron.” Your phone buzzes and you answer without looking, “Shannon.” 
“Ohhh that is not the sound of a happy kitty.” 
“What’s wrong Garcia.” 
There’s a moment of silence, and you know she can hear how stressed you are, “I found the picture. You were an adorable child, not that I had any doubt. I’m running traces on those who have viewed the article within the last five years. There’s a few from private IP addresses which check out for like ancestry trees, and it looks like her father looks at it a lot too, but I doubt he’s our guy. No sign of traveling or expenses. He teaches now.” 
There’s a hint of a smile in her voice, “And what?” 
“You have something, I know you Pen.” 
“Yes you do. There’s one from an internet cafe in California, right down the road from the murder that happened there. I’m trying to get a list of users now, as well as footage from their security cameras, and the cameras on the surrounding streets. With any luck . . ?” 
“You already told Aaron?” 
“Via Chocolate Thunder. I did not, however, tell him that someone from NCIS is trying to hack his file.” 
You spin to look at your father, “Someone at NCIS is trying to hack Aaron’s file?” 
Your dad shakes his head, “Not me.” 
You smirk, “Shut them down Pen. Crash their system. Show them why you’re the best.” 
Vance actually groans, but Garcia is all smiles, “Ahhh and so the claws come out. Done and done hellcat.” 
You grin and hang up, “Someone accessed the picture from an internet cafe a few miles from the crime scene in California. Garcia is trying to track them down.” You turn to face your dad, “Call Ziva and tell her I’m disappointed in her. Then tell McGee, that if he tries anything like that again, I'll unleash Garcia’s full wrath on him, and he’ll never be able to get near another computer again.” 
You stomp outside, and find Dave smoking a cigar, “Seriously?” 
“This from the woman who’s had two glasses of wine?” 
You shrug, and turn to look at the trees, you can feel Dave studying you, “They’re concerned.” 
“They lost the right to be concerned.” 
“Nahh. From the way I hear it, that’s how parenthood works. You’re concerned for your kids until the day you die. Aren’t you that way with Jack?” 
“I’d never stop talking to Jack, no matter what life choices he might make. I’m his Marmee.” 
Dave pulls you in for a side hug and whispers, “You’re a good Marmee.” 
You lean into him for a moment before saying, “It’s only been two days and I already miss them so much.” 
He doesn’t say anything, there's nothing he can say.
Aaron is grumpy, and the thing is, he knows it. Throughout the day word had gotten out that the two of you were together. He’d been stopped no less than six times, and Gibbs’ team had taken to staring at him. Normally, that wouldn’t have meant a thing to him, but he was missing you and so was Jack. He’d been heartbroken when he realized you wouldn’t be home tonight, either. And at this point it would be a surprise if he was able to get home to see Jack himself. Still, he was doing a good job hiding it. Or, at least, no one on the team has said anything. 
He’s sifting through evidence and files when Jess calls, the first thing he notes is the amount of terror in her voice, “Aaron.” 
His back goes ramrod straight, “Jessica.” 
“We’re okay, but when we got home the door was kicked in. I got us out of there, but . . .” 
“Where are you?” 
“The cafe down the street. Someplace public I thought. . .” 
“Stay there and stay on the phone.” 
He’s moving out of the conference room a second later, and barking out orders with Morgan on his six. He knows what this means, whoever this person is, they’re making you a target. 
He’s the one to drive, he needs that control. By the time he pulls up, Metro PD is already there. He lets out a breath of relief before going to get Jack. The moment his son is in his arms, he knows what he needs to do. 
He takes Jess to the side, “Jack and I are going to the safe house. My mistake last time was not being there, I’m not making it again. You’re welcome to come or I can station an agent with you.” 
She reassures him, she’ll be fine. He sends the agents anyway, and goes to wait in the car with Jack. Once he’s distracted by the phone, and Aaron is certain his son is okay, he slips out of the car to find Derek there with bags of clothes and toys. “Haley’s name was written on the wall in paint. No bodies.” 
Aaron swallows the lump in his throat, “The unsub wants us to know that he knows things about us. They want us to know that they’re in town.” 
“You heading out?” 
“Yeah. I need to be with my family. I’ll have my phone and a secure internet connection. 
Y/N and I will consult from there. Also, check agent Gibbs house. There’s a chance the unsub went there. You won’t need a key or anything, Y/N said he always keeps it unlocked.” 
“You got it. You want me to drive you guys?” 
“I can do it.” 
They leave with a handshake. 
You know something is going on. Dave was on the phone, and Leon, Dwayne and your dad had been whispering to each other ever since. You corner him the moment he hangs up, making him jump. 
“I’m going to get you a freaking bell if you keep doing that! Make noise when you walk.”
“What happened?” 
Your stomach drops when he tells you. 
“This isn’t your fault.” 
“He’s targeting me Dave.” 
“No, he left a name at your house, in paint, and turned things over.” 
“You said the alarm didn’t go off.” 
He nods, “We’re looking into it, but why you’re here, maybe look for a new place? This one might be jinxed. Two serial killers?”
You slap at his chest, before running your hand through your hair, “The unsub went after my family Dave.” 
“Yeah. It’s happened to us all at some point, and it’s not our fault. They’re sick, and look at it this way. Soon, you’ll have your boys.”  
 You cling to that thought, and spend the time waiting on the front porch. When the headlights flash, you let out a sigh of relief. And you make a mad dash towards the car. Jack is quick to jump out of his seat and into your arms, “Marmee!” 
You hug him close, and you can’t help but think, you won’t be able to do this too much longer, he’s getting too big. Aaron’s arms wrap around the both of you a second later, and you take comfort in his scent. You tilt your head up and place a kiss to the underside of his jaw.
“I’m so sorry.”
He kisses the top of your head, “It’s not your fault. We’ll catch him, and we’re together. That’s what matters.” 
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